Saying a resolution by the House of Representatives that barred Acorn from receiving federal aid violated the Constitution by singling the antipoverty group out for punishment, lawyers for Acorn filed a lawsuit on Thursday that seeks to restore the financing.Hey, if they can sure Comngress, how about we get a class action suit going for dereliction of duty? Meanwhile, the Times notes Obama (albeit very tepidly) "distanced" himself from the group he use to work closely with as recently as this year.
The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Brooklyn, says that the Congressional resolution constitutes a “bill of attainder,” or a legislative determination of guilt without a trial. In the suit, Acorn, which came under fire especially from conservative critics after a series of embarrassing scandals, said it was penalized by Congress “without an investigation” and has been forced to cut programs that counsel struggling homeowners, and to lay off workers.
For example, it said, because of budget cutbacks, a first time homebuyer class in New York that enrolled 100 people in September enrolled only seven people in October, after the Congressional action.
“It’s a classic trial by the Legislature,” said Jules Lobel, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the suit. “They have essentially determined the guilt of the organization and any organization affiliated or allied with it.”
The suit represents the first legal response by Acorn to the Congressional action in September, when the House of Representatives added the financing prohibition to a bill on college lending.
The Obama administration has also distanced itself from Acorn, which is short for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.Knowing the current Congress and the administration, I'm sure they'd love to settle and re-open the spigots.
Since 1994, the group has received about $53 million in federal aid.
The law suit names as defendants Timothy F. Geithner, the treasury secretary; Shaun Donovan, the secretary for Housing and Urban development; and Peter R. Orszag, who, as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, enforced the freeze on financing, the suit alleges.