Embattled community group ACORN is fighting a Congressional move to block the organization from receiving federal funding with a lawsuit filed in US District Court against the United States.
The Center for Constitutional Rights
filed the suit on behalf of ACORN — the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now
— and two of its affiliate groups. Other defendants include Treasury
secretary Timothy Geithner and Office of Management and Budget
director Peter Orszag.
In it, the lawsuit claims the continuing resolution
that blocked ACORN and its subsidiaries from receiving federal funds is unconstitutional because it punitively targets the organization.
“This appropriation resolution is unprecedented. It does not appear that Congress has ever singled out a particular corporation or organization for a total statutory ban on all federal funding or contracts,” the suit says. “Moreover, the Continuing Resolution, as implemented by the Office of Management and Budget, sweeps broadly, denying without any hearing, not only ACORN, but any affiliated and “allied” organization, access to any
federal grant or funds whatsoever.”
ACORN claims other sources of funding have been reduced as a result of the decision. In the case of its subsidiary ACORN Institute
, the firm was forced to lay off 85% of its employees within a month of the resolution’s passage.
The group has faced immense pressure after an undercover video was released on the Internet
showing a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute asking staff members of ACORN Housing
how to obtain a mortgage to purchase a home to be used as a brothel.
ACORN Housing said the videos depicted the actions of rogue employees, who were later fired. After the video surfaced, ACORN began a public relations campaign, profiling employees and individuals who benefited from ACORN Housing’s counseling services.
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