the Spending Clause, Congress cannot use its spending
"induce the recepient to engage in unconstitutional
activity" (South Dakota v Dole).
if the Congress conditions a grant of money on the
taking some action that would violate the First
Amendment rights of
others, the action of Congress would be
In U. S. v
American Library Ass'n, dissenting justices
Ginsburg and Souter
argued that this principle was violated when Congress
grant of money to public libraries on the libraries
using filters to
block computer access to materials harmful to minors.)
2. The government cannnot use its dollars to promote favored speech (or restrict unfavored speech) when the speech is not "a governmental message" made as part of a government program (Legal Services Corporation v Velazquez). The use of dollars to promote favored speech is permissible, however, when the speakers are participants in a government program and are, therefore, "government speakers" (Rust v Sullivan).
3. The government cannot use its dollars to promote a particular viewpoint that is not related to a significant and legitimate government objective in the field of education (Board of Education v Pico). Legitimate and significant objectives, in the case of a junior high school library might include not exposing students to graphically sexual materials, materials that condone drug use or violence, or materials that undermine educational objectives (Pico). (Question: Is this still good law after Pleasant Grove?)
4. When a government decision or action can be characterized as "government speech," it is "not subject to the Free Speech Clause." Any limitation on the decision or action must come from another provision of the Constitution, such as the Establishment Clause (e.g., if the government speech promoted a religious viewpoint) or the Equal Protection Clause (e.g., if the government speech were to be aimed at harming a suspect class of citizens). (Pleasant Grove v Summum).