Judge blocks ACORN funding ban

Calling the federal government's action in defunding ACORN "punitive," a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that restores federal funding to the group.

Nomaan Merchant writing in the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon in New York issued a temporary injunction late Friday. Her ruling is expected to stand until the current restrictions on Acorn expire next Friday as part of a temporary spending bill. A permanent ban, the Defund Acorn Act, has passed the House and is pending in the Senate.

Acorn's lawyers argued in part that Congress had violated the Constitution's ban on bills of attainder, legislation that punishes a specific person or group without the rights that courts provide. In making its argument, the Acorn lawyers included quotes from several Republicans accusing Acorn of being a criminal organization that deserved to be punished.

In her decision, the judge wrote that those statements "underline the punitive nature of the government's purportedly non-punitive reason" for banning Acorn.

The Justice Department said it was reviewing the decision.

Herein lies the problem; not all community organizing groups are criminal outfits like ACORN. Many are faith based organizations that do substantial good in the inner cities and for poor folk. Ideally, you would want private contributions funding these outfits but given the neighborhoods and regions these groups operate in, that simply isn't possible. There is no economic base to draw sustenance from.

The best solution would be local taxes going to fund local groups. But powerful organizations like ACORN who can hire their own lobbyists - and who help the Democrats come election time - have parlayed that into an ability to soak all of us to fund their schemes.

Excising ACORN funding from the federal budget will be a difficult task. It will be impossible unless a full blown investigation into ACORN activities - especially their "non-partisan" political activities - is undertaken and they are revealed to be the danger to the republic that they truly are.