Let's see how much play this gets in the MSM...a court hands a huge defeat to wingnut talk shows and the GOP.
A federal judge who found it unconstitutional that Congress tried to cut funding to the activist group ACORN has rejected a government request to change her mind and has ordered government agencies to make it clear the funding isn't blocked.
In a written ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon made permanent her conclusion last year that the cutoff of funding was unconstitutional. She ordered all federal agencies to put the word out about it.
The Brooklyn judge said ACORN was punished by Congress without the enactment of administrative processes to decide if money had been handled inappropriately. She said the harm to ACORN's reputation continues because the government never rescinded its advice to withhold funding after it was distributed to "hundreds, if not thousands, of recipients."
Last year, a series of videos filmed at ACORN offices around the country sparked a national scandal and helped drive the organization to near ruin. In one video, ACORN employees were shown apparently advising a couple posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend to lie about her profession and launder her earnings; Brooklyn prosecutors said they did not commit a crime.
In asking the judge to reconsider her December ruling, the government cited a Dec. 7 report written by Scott Harshbarger, former attorney general for Massachusetts. It said the report "reinforces Congress' purpose in preventing fraud, waste and abuse" by describing ACORN's long-standing management problems.
The report concluded that ACORN leadership at every level was thin, the government noted.
The judge, however, wrote that it was "unmistakable that Congress determined ACORN's guilt before defunding it." She said Congress is entitled to investigate ACORN but cannot "rely on the negative results of a congressional or executive report as a rationale to impose a broad, punitive funding ban on a specific, named organization."