If you thought you sent representatives and senators to Washington, D.C., to exercise the constitutionally mandated power of the purse — you’re wrong.
Silly you. You wasted all that time in civics class learning a whole bunch of outdated claptrap about separation of powers and the lawmaking process for nothing.
The spending power belongs to federal judges now, regardless of what that quaint little document called the U.S. Constitution says.
That’s what ACORN’s favorite federal judge, Nina Gershon of the Eastern District of New York ruled Wednesday.
In December Gershon, a Bill Clinton appointee, helped ACORN out by offering the Obama administration political cover by issuing a temporary injunction prohibiting Congress from cutting off funding for ACORN. She found that depriving ACORN of taxpayer dollars was an unconstitutional “bill of attainder” that singled out ACORN for punishment without trial.
Only in the through-the-looking-glass world of a leftist activist judge could the organized crime syndicate ACORN be deemed a victim because Congress decided to stop funding it. Only in such a world could a cutoff of such funding be deemed a penalty.
To give credit where it’s due, the Obama administration did the right thing and appealed the December ruling.
Gershon showed a similar contempt for the legislative branch previously. In 1999 she ruled then-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani had no right to cut off city funding of the Brooklyn Museum of Art when it displayed dead animals and a painting of the Virgin Mary decorated with elephant dung. Gershon’s not exactly courageous, by the way. She managed to get out of taking accused Al Qaeda terrorist Najibullah Zazi’s case when a courthouse computer randomly assigned it to her.
If Gershon’s absurd new ruling remains undisturbed it will mean every parasitic leftist group in the country will have due process rights in the appropriations process. At worst, Congress will not be able to cut off any group for any reason. At best, Congress will have to jump through hoops in order to de-fund any group. The rights of tax eaters will become paramount to the rights of taxpayers.
The ruling should be music to the ears of Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), a huge fan of ACORN who has given thousands of dollars over the years to the ACORN network. Nadler urged ACORN’s lawyer to sue the government, arguing that a ban on funding constituted a “bill of attainder.” Within weeks, ACORN took his advice.
The ruling also appears to mean that ACORN and other leftist activist groups are eligible for up to $3.99 billion in federal funding included in President Obama’s $3.83 trillion fiscal 2011 budget blueprint.
The $3.99 billion comes from a congressional slush fund known as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) $48.5 billion fiscal 2011 budget. CDBG grants, which are awarded to states and localities, flow indirectly to ACORN and similar groups that compete at the state and local level for grants.