ACORN Defunding Bill Unconstitutional

Dallas             

Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Reform in New York which represented ACORN

Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Reform in New York which represented ACORN

Federal Judge Nina Gershon ruled unequivocally that the Congressional defunding restrictions on ACORN and all affiliated organizations were unconstitutional by breaching the U.S. Constitution’s prohibitions on Bills of Attainder and “ex post facto” laws.   Reading the decision this morning, I can say that are arguments are straightforward, clear, and well researched

            Judge Gershon eviscerates the sham attempts by the government to establish that their actions were not targeting ACORN by quoting from the the naked prejudicial attacks by Senators Kit Bond (R-Missouri) and Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska) and by carefully referencing the government’s admission that Congressman Darryl Issa (R-Ohio) and his own private office staff report on ACORN being a “criminal enterprise” was not commissioned by Congress, but were simply his own wild rantings, which she quotes in a footnote from one of his many press releases.  The decision is understated but devastating to the government’s weak hand.  Bill Quigley, our old friend from New Orleans who is now on leave from Loyola Law School and serving as legal director of the Center for Constitutional Reform in New York which represented ACORN, was quoted in an AP story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune saying he did not believe the government would appeal.  That may be wistful spinning, but it is clear that whether the government appeals or not, the appeal has no chance of success against the ironclad Gershon decision.  [Incidentally, Quigley was orginally contacted for help on this matter by longtime Louisiana ACORN director, Beth Butler, who set this defense in motion, but was abruptly and unjustly fired by current management inexplicably in mid-October, but that’s another kettle of fish.]

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Frank Among the Faithful

barney_frank_largeEasthampton, MA I didn’t like paying for the privilege but the chance to hear Congressman and House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank pontificate to the faithful at the annual dinner of several small town committees in the Democratic Party heartland of Western Massachusetts was too good to miss.  I also wrongly thought that this might be a small affair of 30-50 folks giving me a chance to actually pull the Congressman’s lapels and ask him to account for some of his actions recently where he has flip flopped on the Community Reinvestment Act and on how to deal with ACORN.

I was wrong!  This was a tribal meeting of the faithful at the Log Cabin Restaurant where a sellout crowd that was surely 300 and perhaps 500 largely older and virtually all white folks crammed in to hear the gospel.  Barney gave them a good show starting with his joke about being there with his partner and not liking the fact that he was often pilloried as a member of a discriminated against group:  “partisan Democrats!”  They howled.  I jotted down a number of his one-liners in my program and then got out of Massachusetts without them, so I’ll save that for another day.

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