(CN) – New York’s Nassau and Suffolk counties can no longer make their case for additional funding for HIV/AIDS services, the 2nd Circuit ruled, because the federal government has awarded the grant money to other recipients.
In a previous appeal, the federal appeals court in Manhattan held that the counties “had demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits,” meaning they were probably entitled to additional funding under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006.
The counties argued that the government had improperly classified them as a “transitional grant area” instead of an “eligible metropolitan area,” causing them to receive less federal funding for HIV/AIDS services for fiscal years 2007 and 2008.
The district court reluctantly dismissed the claim as moot, because the Department of Health and Human Service had awarded those funds to other grant recipients.
“Despite the seemingly harsh result, we agree with the district court,” Judge Richard Wesley wrote for the three-judge panel.
Like the district court, Wesley acknowledged that the ruling would have “extreme consequences,” but said the court could do nothing once the grants were awarded.
“Our analysis turns on the fact that, irrespective of the status of these appropriations when the action was commenced, HHS had exhausted them by the time the proceedings were remanded,” Wesley wrote.