ACORN Sprouts New Branches

I have an op-ed on ACORN in tomorrow’s Washington Times.

It begins:

It looks like the congenitally corrupt, still-operating Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) won’t be getting any more U.S. tax dollars – for the time being.

That’s because in a startlingly unusual victory for common sense, a federal appeals court slapped down a bizarre ruling by Brooklyn-based federal Judge Nina Gershon. The life-tenured judge had determined that the U.S. government’s spending power belongs to federal judges now, regardless of what that quaint little document called the U.S. Constitution says. Judge Gershon ruled that Congress had violated ACORN’s “rights” and passed an unconstitutional “bill of attainder” punishing ACORN without trial when it decided to stop funding the group.

But the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 13 that Judge Gershon had overreached. The appellate court found that the “withholding of appropriations” is not punishment. “Congress’s decision to withhold funds from ACORN and its affiliates constitutes neither imprisonment, banishment, nor death,” the three-judge panel wrote. “In comparison to penalties levied against individuals, a temporary disqualification from funds or deprivation of property aimed at a corporation may be more an inconvenience than punishment.” […]

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