ACORN's 'constitutional right' to your money? 

Buried in the Friday night news dump was the a federal judge's ruling that the congressional de-funding of ACORN was unconstitutional. Today's Examiner includes a column by Gregory Kane discussing this in light of how the word "unconstitutional" is so routinely abused -- even by judges:

It's interesting that [the judge who restored ACORN funding] brought up the matter of separation of powers, since it's doubtful she understands them herself. Congress has the power to appropriate tax money, not the judicial branch.

[The judge ] may be overstepping her judicial authority by dictating to Congress whom the body can and cannot fund. And she's yanked yet another right out of thin air: the "right" to federal funding. The arrogance of some federal officials -- that they have a right to taxpayers' money -- continues unabated.

Kane is spot-on in his assessment that there is no "right" to federal funds. And not only is there no right to federal funding -- to the contrary, there's ample precedent for cutting off federal funds for those who appear engaged in fraud, as we noted in an editorial at the end of last month:

Congress cannot and should not arbitrarily invalidate legal contracts. But there is ample precedent for government cutting off dealings with fraudsters. Medicare and Medicaid blacklist doctors who cheat the system. The Department of Defense has canceled contracts based in fraud -- for example, the sweetheart Boeing air tanker contract of 2001.

But ACORN still arrogantly thinks it is entitled to the money. Here's the statement ACORN issued in the wake of the judge's decision restoring funding:

"Today's ruling is a victory for the constitutional rights for all Americans and for the citizens who work through ACORN to improve their communities and promote responsible lending and homeownership," ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis said in a statement.

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Mark Hemingway

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