House to Acorn: Drop Dead

 

Acorn

The House has voted to cut off all federal funds for Acorn.  The vote was 345-75.  Here is a list of the 75 House members who want to continue to shovel your tax dollars to Acorn.  Everyone of the 75 is a Democrat.

In other Acorn news,  the Obama campaign website has been scrubbing away references to Acorn down the old Orwell memory hole.

You know that Acorn is toast when even the Lying Worthless Political Hack, a/k/a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, is calling for an investigation of Acorn.  The day before yesterday she wasn’t even aware that the Senate had voted to cut off funding for Acorn.

13 Responses to House to Acorn: Drop Dead

  • Donald,
    One congressman argued this legislation was unconstitutional because it’s a bill of attainder, which Congress is prohibited from passing. What is your opinion on that?

  • Zak,

    it’s not a finding of guilt or a punishment for a crime. It’s cutting of taxpayer funding of their programs, to which they are not “entitled”.

  • ACORN prepares to retaliate against Dems
    ACORN Considers Ending Voter Registration Work
    Troubled community-organizing group Acorn announced Thursday it was considering quitting its voter-registration work amid growing outrage over its activities, a move that could hurt Democrats at the polls.

  • Matt,
    I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer, but I was looking at U.S. vs. Lovett (referred by wikipedia), and there the Supreme Court said that Congress couldn’t prohibit the paying of salaries of government employees because they were Communists. It ruled (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0328_0303_ZS.html):

    Legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial, are bills of attainder prohibited by the Constitution. Cummins v. Missouri, 4 Wall. 277; Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333. P. 315.

    (c) The fact that the punishment is inflicted through the instrumentality of an Act specifically cutting off the pay of certain named individuals found by Congress to be guilty of disloyalty make it no less effective than if it had been done by an Act which designated the conduct as criminal. P. 316.

    It seems like establishes a pretty close precedent.

  • Although one could argue, as you are, that paying a salary is something to which one is entitled, while government procurement is not, so it is different. But what if Congress prohibited Boeing from any aerospace procurement contracts? Would that be a bill of attainder?

  • I don’t see how, since those people where “entitled” to their paychecks. Nobody is entitled to have the federal government grant them funding for a project.

  • what if Congress prohibited Boeing from any aerospace procurement contracts? Would that be a bill of attainder

    I don’t think it would be technically a bill of attainder, but it could be challenged for other causes if the action wasn’t justifiable.

  • Zak, my opinion is that it was a manifestly silly statement by the Congresscritter. Matt’s statement is absolutely correct, and it has been well litigated that Congress, as controller of the purse, can cut off funding to any organization at any time.

  • I don’t know. It’s an interesting question, and I’m glad to have learned a little more about our founding document on Constitution Day! Thanks

  • Oh. I hadn’t seen your comment, Donald. I guess it makes sense that there has been plenty of litigation on this issue in the past. Thanks

  • Donald has nailed it. Silly reference to bill of attainder. Not a chance.

  • One other interesting thing – are you familiar with Cummings v. Missouri, another case on Bills of Attainder? “Cummings, a Catholic Priest, was convicted for teaching and preaching as a minister without taking the oath [of loyalty].” (from Black’s Decision in Lovett. It struck me as interesting that there does not appear to be a first amendment consideration (probably because it was a state law, and there was no incorporation doctrine at the time – actually the decision predates the 14th amendment).

  • I’m quite sure there are numerous provisions attached to the receipt of government grants (well, there should be). I don’t think it would be hard to argue that the actions of Acorn violated one or many of those provisions. Also, years ago I looked at the 501c3 provisions and they’re pretty restrictive. Acorn could easily lose it’s tax status, which if done, *may* preclude them receiving much of their other grant monies. I’m not a lawyer – I just know they’re really good at making things complex. ;)

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