The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, scored another victory in court Wednesday when a federal judge in Brooklyn reaffirmed her December decision that congressional efforts to cut off all federal funding of the embattled nonprofit antipoverty group were unconstitutional.

Responding to a government request that she reconsider her previous ruling, U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon made permanent her ruling that the attempted cutoff, done without establishing wrongdoing on the part of ACORN, amounted to an unconstitutional “bill of attainder.”

“The judge’s ruling is a complete rebuke of the right wing’s smear tactics that unfortunately Congress fell for,” Bill Quigley, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights told the Associated Press. “This is why we have checks and balances.”

As Metro Times previously reported (see this week’s News Hits section), the now discredited videos created by conservative activist James O’Keefe — who falsely implied that he showed up in ACORN offices dressed in an outlandish pimp outfit to seek tax advice for himself and a friend posing as a prostitute — prompted Congress to deny funding not just to ACORN but also to any groups affiliated or associated with it.

Detroit attorneys Julie Hurwitz and Bill Goodman assisted the Center for Constitutional Rights in representing ACORN.

“We are gratified that the federal judge in this case had the courage to see through this ultra-conservative legislative witch hunt, and to properly enforce the Constitution on behalf of our clients, even in the face of a growing right-wing movement to eviscerate all of our rights,” Hurwitz told the Metro Times.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.