Thursday, March 11, 2010


Posted By on Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 3:32 PM

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, scored another victory in court Wednesday when a federal judge in Brooklyn reaffirmed her December decision that congressional efforts to cut off all federal funding of the embattled nonprofit antipoverty group were unconstitutional.

Responding to a government request that she reconsider her previous ruling, U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon made permanent her ruling that the attempted cutoff, done without establishing wrongdoing on the part of ACORN, amounted to an unconstitutional “bill of attainder.”

“The judge’s ruling is a complete rebuke of the right wing’s smear tactics that unfortunately Congress fell for,” Bill Quigley, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights told the Associated Press. “This is why we have checks and balances.”

As Metro Times previously reported (see this week’s News Hits section), the now discredited videos created by conservative activist James O’Keefe — who falsely implied that he showed up in ACORN offices dressed in an outlandish pimp outfit to seek tax advice for himself and a friend posing as a prostitute — prompted Congress to deny funding not just to ACORN but also to any groups affiliated or associated with it.

Detroit attorneys Julie Hurwitz and Bill Goodman assisted the Center for Constitutional Rights in representing ACORN.

“We are gratified that the federal judge in this case had the courage to see through this ultra-conservative legislative witch hunt, and to properly enforce the Constitution on behalf of our clients, even in the face of a growing right-wing movement to eviscerate all of our rights,” Hurwitz told the Metro Times.

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