First Circuit dismisses ACLU challenge to federal USCCB grant on mootness grounds
ACLU of Massachusetts v. USCCB, Nos. 12-1466, 12-1658 (1st Cir. Jan. 15, 2013) (Lynch, Chief Judge, Torruella, Circuit Judge, and DiClerico, District Judge.)
LYNCH, Chief Judge. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM), asserting taxpayer standing on behalf of its members, brought suit in 2009 alleging that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. HHS had received funds appropriated by Congress under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and, in 2006, contracted with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to provide services to trafficking victims. At the insistence of USCCB, the 2006 contract incorporated a restriction under which neither USCCB nor any of its subcontractors would use funding to counsel or provide abortions or contraceptive services and prescriptions to trafficking victims.