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House Ban on Acorn Grants Is Ruled Unconstitutional
The New York Times ^ | 12-11-09 | JANIE LORBER

Posted on 12/11/2009 7:22:05 PM PST by GOP_Lady

WASHINGTON — The federal government must continue to provide grant money to the national community organizing group Acorn, a federal court ruled Friday, saying that the House violated the Constitution when it passed a resolution barring the group from receiving federal dollars.

A judge at the United States District Court in Brooklyn issued a preliminary injunction that nullifies the resolution and requires the government to honor existing contracts with the group and review its applications for new grants unless the Obama administration appeals the decision.

The court ruled that the resolution amounted to a “bill of attainder,” a legislative determination of guilt without trial, because it specifically punishes one group.

That provision plays a crucial, but rarely necessary, role in maintaining the balance of powers, said Eric M. Freedman, a professor of constitutional law at Hofstra Law School. “It says that the Congress may not act as judge, jury and executioner. That is precisely what the Congress sought to do in this case, and the district court was entirely right to enjoin it.”

In the opinion, Judge Nina Gershon wrote of Acorn, “They have been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process adjudicating guilt.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 111th; acorn; barackhusseinobama; bhojudges; christianright; corruption; democrats; earmarks; fundingtheleft; liberalfascism; obama; pelosi; ruling
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1 posted on 12/11/2009 7:22:06 PM PST by GOP_Lady
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To: GOP_Lady

Victory for the corrupt left-wingers.


2 posted on 12/11/2009 7:28:44 PM PST by cranked
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To: GOP_Lady

That is the most twisted interpretation of a bill of attainder I have ever read. If congress refuses to continue funding something, they are punishing them after the fact.

Where was this judge when congress refused to fund Reagan’s military budget?


3 posted on 12/11/2009 7:29:13 PM PST by Bertram3
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To: GOP_Lady

ACORN and their attorneys obviously ‘judge shopped’ and picked the venue/judge who’d be most favorable to them. For a judge to override another equal branch of govt is cause alone for an appeal.


4 posted on 12/11/2009 7:31:28 PM PST by EDINVA
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To: GOP_Lady

Don’t federal contracts have a rescission for cause clause in them? If not, the k writer missed law school. The cause would be the illegal acts of ACORN shown in various videos.


5 posted on 12/11/2009 7:36:56 PM PST by RicocheT
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To: GOP_Lady
A bill of attainder, as generally known, is an act that punishes a PERSON via a very selective CRIMINAL statute.

Appeal time.

6 posted on 12/11/2009 7:40:46 PM PST by MindBender26 (Never kick Dems when they're down. Wait 'till they're 1/2 way back up. You get much better leverage!)
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To: EDINVA

ACORN did not judge shop. They went to the judge that Obama, Pelosi, and Reed told them to. This was part of the deal that Pelosi, Reid, and Obama made with ACORN after the videos broke.


7 posted on 12/11/2009 7:40:54 PM PST by Thunder90 (Fighting for truth and the American way... http://citizensfortruthandtheamericanway.blogspot.com/)
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To: GOP_Lady

Lack of reward is not punishment. But of course the corrupt judge new that.


8 posted on 12/11/2009 7:45:54 PM PST by The Duke (Socialism is cool until somebody loses their paycheck.)
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To: GOP_Lady

Dongress gives and Congress takes away.

Absolutely Constitutional.

To do otherwise would be an abrogation of their duty, thus it would be....unconstitutional.


9 posted on 12/11/2009 7:47:13 PM PST by exit82 (Democrats are the enemy of freedom. Sarah Palin is our Esther.)
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To: GOP_Lady

I have feeling this judge has a colorful record.


10 posted on 12/11/2009 7:47:16 PM PST by BallyBill (WARNING:Taking me serious could cause stress related illness.)
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To: MindBender26

Seems odd to me that companies would be protected from bills of attainder, and not just natural persons, but is there even any case law on this?


11 posted on 12/11/2009 7:48:54 PM PST by MikeGranby
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To: FlingWingFlyer; altair; stephenjohnbanker; little jeremiah; ~Kim4VRWC's~; voteNRA; Admiral_Zeon; ...

NY Times’ take on the issue.


12 posted on 12/11/2009 7:49:15 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: MikeGranby

http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F3/292/338/642381/


13 posted on 12/11/2009 7:51:13 PM PST by MikeGranby
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To: BallyBill
I have feeling this judge has a colorful record.


14 posted on 12/11/2009 7:54:53 PM PST by Red in Blue PA (Obama, Hitler, Stalin: Who are 3 people nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.)
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To: GOP_Lady

So now, ACORN is federally funded in perpetuity, by court order? We can never defund them. Because it’s unconstitutional. Oh, this is rich. The words “absurd result” come to mind.


15 posted on 12/11/2009 7:56:39 PM PST by LikeLight (www.IsThereALawyerInTheChurch.com)
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To: GOP_Lady

tar...feathers....pitchforks....


16 posted on 12/11/2009 7:56:40 PM PST by mo
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To: GOP_Lady

I wonder how many whore houses ACORN runs - they seems to know a lot of tricks... (no pun intended).


17 posted on 12/11/2009 7:58:58 PM PST by GOPJ (Journalists as BaghdadBobLite - Global Warming Scientists as ElmerGantry - what's happening?)
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To: GOP_Lady

I guess ACORN is buried somewhere in the Constitution.


18 posted on 12/11/2009 8:13:49 PM PST by SkyDancer ('Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..' ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: SkyDancer

This explains it all: Nina Gershon (born 1940 in Chicago, Illinois) is a federal district judge in the Eastern District of New York. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 at the recommendation of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.


19 posted on 12/11/2009 8:19:43 PM PST by coop223
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To: EDINVA

They will have a much harder time with the appeals court.


20 posted on 12/11/2009 8:23:51 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (The Second Amendment. Don't MAKE me use it.)
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To: GOP_Lady

When you blow up a balloon, it expands.

When you deflate the balloon it returns to normal, but not quite.

That is the point

We have to stop the courts or soon the legislature (the people) will mean nothing. (a Lefty wet dream)


21 posted on 12/11/2009 8:25:49 PM PST by 240B (he is doing everything he said he would'nt and not doing what he said he would)
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To: GOP_Lady
in Brooklyn

That explains it.
He's on retainer.

22 posted on 12/11/2009 8:30:26 PM PST by Tanniker Smith (Obi-Wan Palin: Strike her down and she shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

They (Congtress) don’t need an Appeals Court. All they need to do is remove the Court’s jurisdiction in this matter, which they have the right to do.


23 posted on 12/11/2009 8:31:49 PM PST by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis "Ya gotta saddle up your boys; Ya gotta draw a hard line")
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To: Thunder90

‘judge shopping’ is just an expression lawyers use when they choose their venue/judge knowing they will get someone favorable to their cause. Theoretically the practice has been eliminated with ‘random’ computer selection of judges. I don’t know if the federal court in NY even has any conservatives or moderates.


24 posted on 12/11/2009 8:36:51 PM PST by EDINVA
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To: GOP_Lady
I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on T.V....but I agree that this was an un-Constitutional bill of attainder.

There are other ways to cut off ACORN.

25 posted on 12/11/2009 8:46:03 PM PST by Washi
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To: EDINVA

We are quickly heading for anarchy ... followed closely by open revolution. Judges like this one will soon reap the harvest of their corruption


26 posted on 12/11/2009 8:46:26 PM PST by clamper1797 (Would you hold my hand ... If I saw you in heaven ... to my angel in heaven)
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To: GOP_Lady

Ruling something “against public policy” because of “social issues” is a catch all holding/ruling where judges can create new policy. I’ve at least learned that in my first semester of law school! lol. :)


27 posted on 12/11/2009 8:50:11 PM PST by rangerwife (Proud wife of a Purple Heart recipient)
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To: Washi

I’m not a lawyer, but work for some (and not on TV), and I agree.


28 posted on 12/11/2009 8:50:31 PM PST by GOP_Lady
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To: BnBlFlag

Congress doesn’t have the balls.


29 posted on 12/11/2009 8:53:08 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (The Second Amendment. Don't MAKE me use it.)
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To: GOP_Lady

It’s time for Congress to reign in the Federal Courts..!


30 posted on 12/11/2009 8:58:59 PM PST by JSDude1 (www.wethepeopleindiana.org (Tea Party Member-Proud), www.travishankins.com (R- IN 09 2010!))
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To: rangerwife

Sarcasm of course, but this is how new policy is created... in the cases I’ve read where the judge invokes “public policy” as the reasoning behind his/her ruling and then it goes from there...


31 posted on 12/11/2009 9:03:56 PM PST by rangerwife (Proud wife of a Purple Heart recipient)
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To: GOP_Lady

Areyou F******G kidding me?? Federal funding is not a right its a GIFT. Deciding to not continue providing you your GIFT funded by other taxpayers does dot amount to a trial.

Suppose there were no allegation of criminality, and it was made on other grounds? Can that defunding be denied too? Do you have a right to fleece the Treasury the rest of your life??


32 posted on 12/11/2009 9:06:40 PM PST by GOP_Resurrected
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To: GOP_Resurrected

This is judicial tyranny. It weakens our governmental system by calling it into disrepute.


33 posted on 12/11/2009 9:20:57 PM PST by dtrpscout (A bad dog is better than most good people.)
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To: GOP_Lady

Well, I’m also not a lawyer, and I didn’t play one on tv.

A bill of attainder is pretty much what the Times story described; a legislative prounouncement of guilt. Revoking government funding for some reason, even if the reason involves possibly criminal conduct, is not a finding of guilt. For instance, what if a contractor is found to be stealing during an audit or because of an informant? Must the government continue to give funds to the contractor while a trial is held?

Revoking funding has a history of use as a punishment, but is also dealt with separately in the Constitution. The compensation for judges shall not be diminished during their continuance in office per Article III. The president enjoys the same privilege in Article II.

The limits of legislative power in Article I include the prohibition on bills of attainder. It seems odd that the founders needed to include the parts about executive and judicial compensation if they believed that diminished compensation was part of a bill of attainder.

I was always taught that a bill of attainder was a legislative finding of guilt and imposition of punishment. Diminshed compensation may hurt, but it is not a punishment in the constitutional sense of the word. Punishment is revocation of status such as corporate, non profit, citizen, et cetera. Punishment includes fines, prison, or other involuntary mandates imposed by a government body. A fine is different from diminshed compensation. A fine means you have to give me what’s yours. Diminished compensation means I will no longer give you what’s mine.

Take this to the point of absurdity. Must there be a trial before the legislature can choose not to fund an organization? If the jury finds no crime, then the organization may receive funds in perpetuity.

I didn’t stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, either, but I did make William Kunstler’s protege, Ron Kuby, have an on air meltdown on WABC Radio while argiung U.S. v. Miller. :)


34 posted on 12/11/2009 9:31:12 PM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
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To: GOP_Lady; Washi

The historical and core concept of a “bill of attainder” was the sovereign (such as the King of England) creating post hoc laws or criminal charges, without right to trial, in order to deprive a particular PERSON of their liberty, property, and/or their very life.

Now, in the Orwellian world of liberal jurisprudence, we are at a point where an elected legislature cannot decide about eligibility for *public funding* from all taxpayers!?

The ACORN cesspool scum now have a “right” to our tax dollars just as though it’s their own legitimate “property”

The burden should be on ACORN to demonstrate their suitability for public trust.... IT’S NOT THEIR MONEY.

(although in the world of liberalism everything is up for grabs)


35 posted on 12/11/2009 9:41:53 PM PST by Enchante (Sarah Palin is a mortal threat to the vampires of the left!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Yep. Congress has the power but they have no balls. Too bad.


36 posted on 12/11/2009 9:50:16 PM PST by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis "Ya gotta saddle up your boys; Ya gotta draw a hard line")
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To: GOP_Lady; Candor7; pandoraou812
This is absolutely insane. So now ACORN must be funded and Congress no longer has any say about it? And Congress says every citizen must buy health insurance or face prison.

Tonight Hannity had a special on 9/11 and the Kalid Sheik Mohammad trial. One of his guests, who was family of a casualty of 9/11, said 0bama's actions have been aid and comfort to the enemy. He outlined a list of actions 0bama has taken.

Hannity asked for a show of hands of those who agreed with that. All but one raised their hands in agreement. All but one of those 9/11 family members and first responders agreed that 0bama is a traitor.

I think that says it. I sure don't disagree.

37 posted on 12/11/2009 10:02:22 PM PST by TigersEye (Sarah Palin 2010 - We Can't Afford To Wait)
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To: Jet Jaguar

This is freaking insane.


38 posted on 12/11/2009 10:05:01 PM PST by little jeremiah (Asato Ma Sad Gamaya Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya)
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To: MikeGranby
Way out of my legal areas, but I'll bet Heritage Foundation has a paper out on it by Wednesday.
39 posted on 12/11/2009 10:20:16 PM PST by MindBender26 (Never kick Dems when they're down. Wait 'till they're 1/2 way back up. You get much better leverage!)
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To: Yellow Rose of Texas; Bump in the night
This bears repeating:

Nina Gershon (born 1940 in Chicago, Illinois) is a federal district judge in the Eastern District of New York. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 at the recommendation of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

40 posted on 12/11/2009 10:21:40 PM PST by amom
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To: clamper1797

We’ve come to a terrible place in history when US judges become mini-gods, like the pharisees, when their decisions reflect their own political positions, rather than the law and precedent. By comparison too many of them make the Congress look good, and when that starts to be reflected in the polls, we are in deep doo.


41 posted on 12/11/2009 10:24:42 PM PST by EDINVA
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To: GOP_Lady

These idiots wouldn’t recognize the Constitution if it introduced itself.


42 posted on 12/11/2009 10:25:04 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: StarFan; Dutchy; alisasny; BobFromNJ; BUNNY2003; Cacique; Clemenza; Coleus; cyborg; DKNY; ...
Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse...

WASHINGTON — The federal government must continue to provide grant money to the national community organizing group Acorn, a federal court ruled Friday, saying that the House violated the Constitution when it passed a resolution barring the group from receiving federal dollars.

A judge at the United States District Court in Brooklyn issued a preliminary injunction that nullifies the resolution and requires the government to honor existing contracts with the group and review its applications for new grants unless the Obama administration appeals the decision...

43 posted on 12/11/2009 10:28:16 PM PST by nutmeg (Rush Limbaugh & Sarah Palin agree: NO third parties! Take back the GOP)
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To: nutmeg

What do you want to bet that congress will not appeal this?


44 posted on 12/11/2009 11:42:10 PM PST by Revel
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To: GOP_Lady

ACORN ? it was unconstitutional to give you that money since you support to destroy the US Constitution.


45 posted on 12/12/2009 1:00:13 AM PST by American Constitutionalist (There is no civility in the way the Communist/Marxist want to destroy the USA)
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To: nutmeg

“Constitution?...We don’t need no steeenking Constitution!”


46 posted on 12/12/2009 2:24:59 AM PST by CharlesThe Hammer
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To: GOP_Lady

When have libs ever have any reguards to the Constitution anyway? Just their own interpretation of it.


47 posted on 12/12/2009 2:29:01 AM PST by chemicalman
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To: GOP_Resurrected

“Areyou F******G kidding me?? Federal funding is not a right its a GIFT. “

This decision ranks in the top 10 judicial swindles of all time. NOBODY has a RIGHT to taxpayer dollars.


48 posted on 12/12/2009 5:29:33 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: GOP_Lady

“That provision plays a crucial, but rarely necessary, role in maintaining the balance of powers, said Eric M. Freedman”

The GOP should hire a private detective to check this judges bank accounts.


49 posted on 12/12/2009 5:38:59 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: GOP_Lady
The Congressional Research Service found in September that there was sufficient evidence to rule the ban unconstitutional:
"Thus, it appears that a court may have a sufficient basis to overcome the presumption of constitutionality, and find that it violates the prohibition against bills of attainder."
http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0909/CRS_House_ACORN_ban_may_be_unconstitional.html
50 posted on 12/12/2009 6:27:48 AM PST by Dementio
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