Federal Appeals Court Rules Against ACORN

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A New York federal appeals court has ruled Congress does not have to give money to the liberal community organizing group known as ACORN.

Last Friday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a lower court's ruling that barred Congress from withholding funds from the group.

"We doubt that the direct consequences of the appropriations laws temporarily precluding ACORN from federal funds were so disproportionately severe or so inappropriate as to constitute punishment," the three-judge panel wrote.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now had earlier described itself as an advocate for low-income and minority home buyers and residents. The national organization announced earlier this year it was folding because of falling revenues.

Last year, the group was charged with allegations of voter registration fraud and embezzlement. A scandal broke when ACORN workers gave tax advice to undercover journalists, who were posing as a prostitute and boyfriend. Because of the revelations, Congress cut off ACORN's funding.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which argued on behalf of ACORN in court, said it was considering asking the appeals court to rehear the case with more judges.

"We cannot let Congress be pushed around by the right-wing media machine into becoming prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner of politically unpopular people or organizations," said Bill Quigley, legal director for CCR.

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