Bill to Defund ACORN called “Unconstitutional” by Chair of Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, denounced a Republican Amendment adopted by the House of Representatives to deny all federal funds to ACORN as blatantly unconstitutional and a threat to unpopular organizations everywhere. The Republican initiative, entitled the Defund ACORN Act, singles out a specific organization by name for exclusion from participating in any federal program, in direct violation of the Constitution’s prohibition against Bills of Attainder.
Mr. Nadler’s remarks are below:
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A little while ago, the House passed an amendment to the bill that we were considering that says no contract or federal funds may ever go to ACORN, a named organization, or to any individual or organization affiliated with ACORN. Unfortunately, this was done in the spirit of the moment and nobody had the opportunity to point out that this is a flat violation of the Constitution, constituting a Bill of Attainder. The Constitution says that Congress shall never pass a Bill of Attainder. Bills of Attainder, no matter what their form, apply either to a named individual or to easily ascertainable members of a group, to inflict punishment. That’s exactly what this amendment does.
“It may be that ACORN is guilty of various infractions, and, if so, it ought to be vetted, or maybe sanctioned, by the appropriate administrative agency or by the judiciary. Congress must not be in the business of punishing individual organizations or people.”
While I agree that the Congress should not be in the business of punishing organizations or people without trials, withholding taxpayer funds from an organization that has ethical issues on the scale that ACORN does seems like prudent business since these funds would be for services rendered. So I have a few questions for the Congressman.
- If this falls under the premise of Bill of Attainder which specifically refers ex post facto law, how is this any less Constitutional than passing a bill after the fact to place a huge penalty on the AIG bonuses?
- Do you defend the Constitution with this vigor all the time?
- How much ACORN support did you receive in your last Congressional race?
Ironic, isn’t it the Congress finally takes a stand against corruption and a politician tries to invoke “constitutional law” as the defense, the same Constitution that these same politicians ignore on a daily basis.
Restore the Republic, Reject the agenda of the Progressive Left!