Acorn Sues Government Over Unlawful ‘Trial by the Legislature’

November 13, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The beleaguered antipoverty group Acorn, filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Thursday in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, asking that the group’s public funding be restored. In the wake of an undercover video scandal involving two conservative operatives posing as a cartoonish pimp and hooker, who convinced several low level Acorn workers to give them business advice for their brothel enterprise, Congress cut the group’s federal funding.

The complaint alleges that Congress engaged in an unconstitutional “bill of attainder,” or a legislative determination of guilt without a trial.

The antipoverty group claims in its suit that it was penalized by Congress “without an investigation” and has been forced to cut programs that help poor homeowners and had to lay off workers.

The group’s lawyer, Jules Lobel, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, views the Congressional resolution removing Acorn’s funding in the wake of an embarrassing scandal, as “… a classic trial by the legislature.” “They have essentially determined the guilt of the organization and any organization affiliated or allied with it,” Lobel added.

Bertha Lewis, the chief executive of Acorn noted that the effect of the funding cut by Congress proved to be catastrophic to Acorn, as dozens of other entities followed suit and withdrew funding from the group. “It gave the green light for others to terminate our funds as well,” she said. “All of our state and local grants were frozen, as were most of our private foundation funds,” said Lewis.

The complaint refers to the vigilante atmosphere in Congress at the time, claiming lawmakers sought to punish the organization. The suit specifically mentioned comments made by Darrell Issa (R-CA) who labeled Acorn, as a “corrupt and criminal organization.”

The lawsuit names as defendants, Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary; Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and Peter R. Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget.



One Response to “Acorn Sues Government Over Unlawful ‘Trial by the Legislature’”

  1. Old Man Dotes on November 13th, 2009 1:13 pm

    Hey, Darrell Issa, you want to talk about corrupt and criminal organizations? Let’s talk about the Republican Party, shall we? Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, G. W. Bush… I can go on. Would you like me to go on?

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