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elucidator
12-08-2009, 09:03 PM
I certainly can't go with inept and incompetent. The masterful use of disguise, for instance, totally transforming a pasty white boy into an urban pimp.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-08-2009, 09:18 PM
That costume was the first thing that made me think the whole thing was fishy. There's no way in hell that anyone in an ACORN office would actually buy that clown as genuine.

elucidator
12-08-2009, 09:51 PM
I didn't have the "that's fishy" reaction, mine was the rolling around on the floor pointing and laughing reaction...

RTFirefly
12-10-2009, 09:33 AM
They were performing services as ACORN representatives And if the fry cook at McDonald's spits on your burger before putting it in the bun, he's performing services as the representative of McDonald's Corp. But that doesn't mean he's carrying out the policies of McDonald's Corp., or that McDonald's encourages or even remotely condones such actions on the part of its employees.

So that's pretty much a bullshit line.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-10-2009, 09:37 AM
They also ddn't perform any services.

Nars Glinley
12-10-2009, 09:59 AM
And if the fry cook at McDonald's spits on your burger before putting it in the bun, he's performing services as the representative of McDonald's Corp. But that doesn't mean he's carrying out the policies of McDonald's Corp., or that McDonald's encourages or even remotely condones such actions on the part of its employees.

So that's pretty much a bullshit line.

But isn't McDonald's still responsible for their actions? (Serious question)

Lightnin'
12-10-2009, 10:13 AM
But isn't McDonald's still responsible for their actions? (Serious question)

Sure, in that they'll fire that employee, try to prevent it from happening in the future, and probably get sued (and most likely, settle out of court).

McDonalds wouldn't be shut down, though, because there's no reason to believe that spitting in hamburgers is a corporate policy.

gonzomax
12-10-2009, 10:15 AM
ACORN did not just register Dem voters. They registered whoever filled out the sheet. You do not know who they vote for. Since they generally work in poor neighborhoods, they are more likely to register Dem voters. But that is a statistical probability, not a fact.
That probability was enough for the Repubs to try and stop them. They constantly railed at them ,hoping if they screamed enough, they could create the illusion that ACORN was doing something wrong and make it acceptable to stop them. This set up by the white kids badly posing as a pimp and hooker is a joke. the ACORN workers went along with it but whether they were having fun is unproven. But they did not file any illegal paperwork. Do you really think they believed that those posers were actually involved in prostitution? This is such a joke.

NurseCarmen
12-10-2009, 12:41 PM
Acorn should just change their name. I think Blackwater is available. That would really confuse the average Fox viewer.

The Tooth
12-10-2009, 01:30 PM
Acorn should just change their name. I think Blackwater is available. That would really confuse the average Fox viewer.

No, that would just confuse them a little. To really confuse them, ACORN should change their name to Fogsnooze.

flickster
12-10-2009, 04:09 PM
And if the fry cook at McDonald's spits on your burger before putting it in the bun, he's performing services as the representative of McDonald's Corp. But that doesn't mean he's carrying out the policies of McDonald's Corp., or that McDonald's encourages or even remotely condones such actions on the part of its employees.

So that's pretty much a bullshit line.

McDonald's is still liable for the employee's actions. Same with ACORN.

Shodan
12-10-2009, 04:13 PM
McDonald's is still liable for the employee's actions. Same with ACORN.
Nonsense - McDonald's is required by law to serve all the hamburgers they make, whether they have been spat in or not.

You could look it up!

Regards,
Shodan

Diogenes the Cynic
12-10-2009, 04:17 PM
McDonald's is still liable for the employee's actions. Same with ACORN.
What plaintiff would ACORN be liable to?

Diogenes the Cynic
12-10-2009, 04:19 PM
Nonsense - McDonald's is required by law to serve all the hamburgers they make, whether they have been spat in or not.
This is not a very clever response since McDonalds is, in fact, not required by law to serve spat in hamburgers and ACORN is, in fact, required to submit all registrations.

Shodan
12-10-2009, 04:21 PM
This is not a very clever response since McDonalds is, in fact, not required by law to serve spat in hamburgers and ACORN is, in fact, required to submit all registrations.ACORN didn't submit any registrations.

Regards,
Shodan

Lobohan
12-10-2009, 04:23 PM
Nonsense - McDonald's is required by law to serve all the hamburgers they make, whether they have been spat in or not.

You could look it up!

Regards,
ShodanACORN has to turn in all the registrations it gets, are you ignorant of that fact? Or are you just purposely arguing something you know is incorrect?

Diogenes the Cynic
12-10-2009, 04:23 PM
Have you followed the story at all, or are you just try to parse some sematic distinction that's lost on me?

In point of fact, ACORN has submitted MANY voter registrations, and is legally forbiden from removing any fakes one.

elucidator
12-10-2009, 04:50 PM
Well, thats just your reality!

Shodan
12-10-2009, 05:04 PM
Have you followed the story at all, or are you just try to parse some sematic distinction that's lost on me?

In point of fact, ACORN has submitted MANY voter registrations, and is legally forbiden from removing any fakes one.
Nope, they did not.

Regards,
Shodan

jayjay
12-10-2009, 05:36 PM
Nope, they did not.

Regards,
Shodan

I can't even tell what you're answering...your grammar sucks. No, they did not WHAT?

Nars Glinley
12-10-2009, 06:01 PM
Nope, they did not.

Regards,
Shodan

Would you please just say whatever it is that you are trying to not say?

kaylasdad99
12-10-2009, 06:06 PM
Nope, they did not.

Regards,
ShodanPlease clarify. On the face of it, you are making an assertion that completely contradicts what most people who have been discussing the subject of ACORN vis-a-vis voter registrations have understood to be the case. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt as to the possibility that your assertion, as written, is factually accurate.

Please be good enough to explain in what way your assertion is factually accurate. Feel free to post links to citations, but I respectfully request that you post your own explanation for how any such links support your position, rather than leaving them to speak for themselves, and your audience to infer your argument.

Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation.

elucidator
12-10-2009, 06:18 PM
Your generous optimism is a beacon to us all.

tnetennba
12-10-2009, 06:37 PM
Nope, they did not.

Regards,
Shodan

Um... actually, yeah they are.

Or is that yes they did?

Whatever your assertion is, my rebuttal is the opposite.

stolichnaya
12-10-2009, 06:45 PM
I hope you will all join me in mourning the apparent death of the meaning of the word "Regards".

Gangster Octopus
12-10-2009, 06:50 PM
'ees yankin' your chain, 'ee is.

kaylasdad99
12-10-2009, 07:08 PM
Not at all.* I'm quite certain that Mr. Shodan has, up his sleeve, a perfectly cromulent set of documented facts that show his assertion to be 100% precisely factual. He is off the grid at the time of this posting, but I have no doubt that he will return and present it.



*ETA: On reflection, I suppose I must concede that this is not inconsistent with the notion that he is, in fact, yanking our chain(s). But IME, he tends to be more careful than that, particularly when board rules might turn out to be involved.

Lobohan
12-10-2009, 07:24 PM
It's just Shodan throwing a tantrum. He doesn't seem to be informed enough to contribute in a more meaningful way, so this is what we get.

Hamlet
12-10-2009, 07:39 PM
Not at all.* I'm quite certain that Mr. Shodan has, up his sleeve, a perfectly cromulent set of documented facts that show his assertion to be 100% precisely factual. He is off the grid at the time of this posting, but I have no doubt that he will return and present it.Some time ago, some poster complimented Shodan for his use of some Orwellian quote regarding denials of reality/doublethink (we are not at war with Eastasia or something like that). Since then, like an attention starved 5 year old, he has trotted it out, repeating a patently false assertion, in an attempt to gain some desperately needed attention. I suspect this is what Shodan is doing here.

tomndebb
12-10-2009, 07:41 PM
We have a perfectly fine forum for insulting other poster over in The BBQ Pit (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=5).

Leave the personal attacks out of this one.

[ /Modding ]

elucidator
12-10-2009, 07:52 PM
I got it! It's "MANY"! So long as that variable is defined as being a number greater than the number of ACORN registrations submitted, regardless of how many such registrations there may be, then ACORN has not submitted "MANY" registrations! Hence, "Nope, they did not" becomes a valid statement.

Shodan
12-11-2009, 07:23 AM
It's just Shodan throwing a tantrum. He doesn't seem to be informed enough to contribute in a more meaningful way, so this is what we get.

No, not at all. You and others of your sort were claiming that ACORN is not responsible for the activities of its employees. Now you are claiming that they are. Good - that means my point was carried.

ACORN is responsible for the actions of its employees.

Diogenes claims that ACORN didn't perform any services. Voter registration is a service. Ergo, either Diogenes is wrong, or ACORN did perform services.

No doubt all of you clamoring to deny the videos will agree that, even if it had been forged, it presents something that is otherwise established,, and is therefore perfectly worthwhile for a news organization to use to influence an election. Just like the National Guard forgeries for Bush. Right? :D

Regards,
Shodan

jayjay
12-11-2009, 07:54 AM
ACORN didn't perform any services FOR THE ERSATZ PIMP AND HO, which anyone of normal intelligence who was arguing sincerely would have been able to discern was the original intent of the post that you're arguing about two pages ago! Your disingenuous attempt to make the case that it's being argued that ACORN doesn't provide services of any kind to anybody demonstrates traits usually found sub pontis.

Nars Glinley
12-11-2009, 08:02 AM
Shodan, as a fellow conservative, I would love to agree with you but that is some fucked up repugnant "logic".

Gyrate
12-11-2009, 08:07 AM
Shodan, as a fellow conservative, I would love to agree with you but that is some fucked up repugnant "logic".
It's alright - he concluded with a :D. That makes everything okay.

RTFirefly
12-11-2009, 09:16 AM
No, not at all. You and others of your sort were claiming that ACORN is not responsible for the activities of its employees. Now you are claiming that they are. Good - that means my point was carried.

ACORN is responsible for the actions of its employees. Before we get too far into equating very different things, let's get some specificity in here.

1) IANAL, but to the best of my understanding, ACORN is responsible for the consequences of its employees' actions, when they are acting in their capacity of ACORN employees. So if any harm befell anyone as a result of these interviews, ACORN would be legally liable.

2) There's a world of difference between that, and a claim that this alleged incident somehow calls into question the veracity of ACORN's voter registration efforts. You'd have to show some causal connection or relationship that is certainly not implied by ACORN's legal liability for the acts of its employees.

jayjay
12-11-2009, 09:36 AM
Not to mention that there are two different organizations under the ACORN banner, one that assists in voter registration and ACORN Housing, which helps low-income people acquire housing. I believe the offices that were victims of this idiotic sting were ACORN Housing.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-11-2009, 09:42 AM
There also has to be a plaintiff in order for there to be liability. As far as I know, no one has claimed any injury as a result of the pimp scam.

kaylasdad99
12-11-2009, 10:47 AM
Shodan, do you have any intention of addressing my post #772? I would very much appreciate it.

elucidator
12-11-2009, 12:43 PM
Well, darn! I thought I had it with the semantic thingy! Should have realized that really creative minds are not bound by pedestrian realities.

Kobal2
12-11-2009, 12:56 PM
You bunch of spoilsports. Trying to weasel in your cowardly "facts" and your faggoty "reasoning" in Shodan's semantic ass-pulls, liberal (hehe) picking of nits and ballistic feces.
You were supposed to go "Aaaaaah !" and marvel at the rapier wit, goddammit !

Lobohan
12-11-2009, 01:00 PM
No, not at all. You and others of your sort were claiming that ACORN is not responsible for the activities of its employees. Now you are claiming that they are. Good - that means my point was carried.

ACORN is responsible for the actions of its employees.

Diogenes claims that ACORN didn't perform any services. Voter registration is a service. Ergo, either Diogenes is wrong, or ACORN did perform services.

No doubt all of you clamoring to deny the videos will agree that, even if it had been forged, it presents something that is otherwise established,, and is therefore perfectly worthwhile for a news organization to use to influence an election. Just like the National Guard forgeries for Bush. Right? :D

Regards,
ShodanIf you backpedal any faster you'll go back in time. Which might be a good thing, maybe you can meet your past self and let him know you should understand an issue before mouthing off about it.

Look Shodan, you're just spewing gibberish now, maybe you should just sit this one out until you're willing to discuss issues intelligently.

Fact: ACORN isn't in the business of providing Prostitution Advice.
Fact: If one of its workers did provide prostitution advice, they were not acting in their capacity as ACORN employees.
Fact: Shodan doesn't let facts get in the way of pathetic partisan mewlings.

gonzomax
12-11-2009, 01:05 PM
ACORN is guilty of pissing off Republicans. They have a lot of power and took them down on BS trumped up crap. It was a setup by a couple of conservative clowns. No crimes were committed . They just gave the repubs a chance to make a lot of noise. It worked.

elucidator
12-11-2009, 01:36 PM
True enough, B'rer Gonzo, but there's an upside. Why did the Forces of Darkness spend so much energy on a feckless bunch of idealists, slogging door to door to register a few thousand poor folks here, a few thousand there? Because it works! Because the cumulative effect was making them bleed in the close races. Because the vision of the lower and working classes registered to vote and politically motivated is what makes them wake up screaming and clutching for their banky.

And it doesn't take major expenditures for PR hacks and doesn't require massive funding. Shoe leather and determination is all that is required, and it fucking works! Yeee-haw, ride 'em and spank 'em!

A hard lesson, true. Shoulda knowed. But they taught us what they fear, and that is useful. Oh, yeah! Power to the people, when the people lead, the leaders will follow. Its dull, its tedious, its plodding, but it works. Took our enemies to teach us, but if we learn it, look out!

As a gesture of appreciation, I propose that we cut the Straight to the Wall List by half. Of course, I'm willing to compromise on that....

Bricker
12-11-2009, 01:54 PM
.

Fact: ACORN isn't in the business of providing Prostitution Advice.

Agreed.


Fact: If one of its workers did provide prostitution advice, they were not acting in their capacity as ACORN employees.

Agreed, however:

ACORN is in the business of providing tax and mortgage advice.

If one of its workers did provide advice intended to conceal illegal income, or use illegal income to finance a mortgage, then that worker was indeed acting in his capacity as an ACORN employee.

Lobohan
12-11-2009, 02:15 PM
Agreed.



Agreed, however:

ACORN is in the business of providing tax and mortgage advice.

If one of its workers did provide advice intended to conceal illegal income, or use illegal income to finance a mortgage, then that worker was indeed acting in his capacity as an ACORN employee.I'm willing to bet that you can go through ACORN's manual with a fine toothed comb and you'd never find that they tell their workers to assist in hiding illegal monies.

In our burger joint analogy above, they sell food, but they don't sell spitburgers. Just because they sell things to eat you can't argue that someone spooging on a hamburger is acting in compliance with company policies.

Shodan
12-11-2009, 02:26 PM
If you backpedal any faster you'll go back in time. Which might be a good thing, maybe you can meet your past self and let him know you should understand an issue before mouthing off about it.Nope, not even close.

Look Shodan, you're just spewing gibberish now, maybe you should just sit this one out until you're willing to discuss issues intelligently.Also wrong.

Fact: ACORN isn't in the business of providing Prostitution Advice.
Fact: If one of its workers did provide prostitution advice, they were not acting in their capacity as ACORN employees.
Fact: Shodan doesn't let facts get in the way of pathetic partisan mewlings.
Bricker has dealt with the first two of your fantasies. The third is equally imaginative.

And I mean that in a bad way.

Regards,
Shodan

Shodan
12-11-2009, 02:30 PM
I'm willing to bet that you can go through ACORN's manual with a fine toothed comb and you'd never find that they tell their workers to assist in hiding illegal monies.So any organization that does not explicitly state its criminal intentions in its handbook is exempt from responsibility for what its employees do? I don't think so.

Say something else ridiculous - I need further chuckles.

Regards,
Shodan

Bricker
12-11-2009, 02:33 PM
I'm willing to bet that you can go through ACORN's manual with a fine toothed comb and you'd never find that they tell their workers to assist in hiding illegal monies.

In our burger joint analogy above, they sell food, but they don't sell spitburgers. Just because they sell things to eat you can't argue that someone spooging on a hamburger is acting in compliance with company policies.

Of course. But surely you must know that the standard is not "acting in compliance with company policies." If that were so, all any organization would have to do to shield itself from respondeat superior liability is issue clean policies.

There are a couple of principles that, on balance, establish that an organization is liable for the wrongful acts of its agents. One is whether the organization benefits from the wrongful act of the employee. In this case, it does, since it captures fees from completed transactions and uses its aggregate count of the people it assists to show the continued need for funding and grants. Another is, as you mentioned in your post above, whether the agents are acting within the time/space and subject matter scope of their agency. I know you know this one, because you said it.

Revenant Threshold
12-11-2009, 02:36 PM
So any organization that does not explicitly state its criminal intentions in its handbook is exempt from responsibility for what its employees do? I don't think so. I was about to make a point, but Shodan has made it for me (well, sort of, ish).

While I imagine I would not imply criminal intentions as he has done here, Shodan is correct in that it's not enough to simply not include such behaviour in company policy. That's the neutral position. What needs to be seen also is whether such behaviour is against company policy, and if when it happens it is actually punished, and to what extent.

elucidator
12-11-2009, 03:05 PM
Isn't the flip side of that equally valid? Can we reasonably expect ACORN to explicitly include policies against prostitution, drug trafficing, etc. etc. when they have no expectation of such?

Lobohan
12-11-2009, 03:30 PM
So any organization that does not explicitly state its criminal intentions in its handbook is exempt from responsibility for what its employees do? I don't think so.

Say something else ridiculous - I need further chuckles.

Regards,
ShodanI get the impression that you don't laugh enough. It isn't exempt from responsibility if it allows such shenanigans to go on. But as I said, and you must surely understand, you can't blame an organization for the off track actions of employees that they would have no ability to predict.

But you know that. You're just waving arms to take focus off how utterly without merit your previous arguments were. It's all good.

Lobohan
12-11-2009, 03:33 PM
Of course. But surely you must know that the standard is not "acting in compliance with company policies." If that were so, all any organization would have to do to shield itself from respondeat superior liability is issue clean policies.

There are a couple of principles that, on balance, establish that an organization is liable for the wrongful acts of its agents. One is whether the organization benefits from the wrongful act of the employee. In this case, it does, since it captures fees from completed transactions and uses its aggregate count of the people it assists to show the continued need for funding and grants. Another is, as you mentioned in your post above, whether the agents are acting within the time/space and subject matter scope of their agency. I know you know this one, because you said it.I'm assuming they taught you at lawyer school how to understand such things. Is it your contention that hiding underage prostitution money is within the scope of ACORN's agency?

Again, you are letting your partisan bias cloud that fine legal mind of yours.

Revenant Threshold
12-11-2009, 03:54 PM
Isn't the flip side of that equally valid? Can we reasonably expect ACORN to explicitly include policies against prostitution, drug trafficing, etc. etc. when they have no expectation of such? Perhaps not specifically naming each and every possible problem, no. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some policy that workers not involve themselves in any activity which might bring the organisation into disrepute, or something along those lines. Or one which suggests that they keep the right to fire someone who breaks the law.

hotflungwok
12-11-2009, 06:37 PM
What evidence do we have that ACORN employees did something illegal and/or wrong in this situation?

A section of video. Not the entire video, but heavily edited clips that have now been determined to be tampered with. A bit of video the creators refuse to release the raw footage for.

ACORN was tried and declared guilty by right wing media seconds after this video came out. Based solely on this video the government cut off funding to the company, people lost their jobs, and the organization has been severely compromised.

This has been bullshit from the beginning. So when are we going to see the makers sued? When is the government going to return their funding? When are we going to see the people who were screaming for ACORN's blood earlier in the thread man up and admit they made a mistake?

Is this going to be it from the right wing from now on? Nothing but bullshit hatchet jobs on anyone they don't like? Hey that group of people doesn't agree with us, let's get some video of their leader raping puppies! Seriously, don't you have any other tools in your belt?

Bricker
12-11-2009, 06:51 PM
I'm assuming they taught you at lawyer school how to understand such things. Is it your contention that hiding underage prostitution money is within the scope of ACORN's agency?

Again, you are letting your partisan bias cloud that fine legal mind of yours.

Advising tax prep clients to report all income, from whatever source derived, is within ACORN's agency, as is advising clients to hide illegal income. The specific issue of prostitution is not relevant here, although it makes splashier news than, say, disguising short-term capital gains as long term ones. So your question focuses on the wrong element: hiding money, if ACORN employees advise it, falls within the scope of their agency, since their purpose is to advise the client on tax and mortgage issues.

elucidator
12-11-2009, 06:53 PM
How tall are you? Do you mind if we call you "Stretch"?

Nars Glinley
12-11-2009, 06:56 PM
Is this going to be it from the right wing from now on? Nothing but bullshit hatchet jobs on anyone they don't like? Hey that group of people doesn't agree with us, let's get some video of their leader raping puppies! Seriously, don't you have any other tools in your belt?

If someone has a video of your leader raping a puppy, I'm OK with the edited version. These tactics aren't radically different from what 60 Minutes has been doing for decades.

kaylasdad99
12-11-2009, 07:05 PM
Advising tax prep clients to report all income, from whatever source derived, is within ACORN's agency, as is advising clients to hide illegal income. The specific issue of prostitution is not relevant here, although it makes splashier news than, say, disguising short-term capital gains as long term ones. So your question focuses on the wrong element: hiding money, if ACORN employees advise it, falls within the scope of their agency, since their purpose is to advise the client on tax and mortgage issues.Oh. Very good summation, actually. Thank you for it; you are, as always, a veritable font of the easily-understood-by-the-layman explanation of the law.

I mean that sincerely.

It's probably a little late, but do you want to ask the admins to change the thread title to "ACORN workers caught on tape apparently advising on hiding income from tax authorities"?

:D

ETA: Shodan? Still waiting to hear from you, buddy.

hotflungwok
12-11-2009, 07:53 PM
If someone has a video of your leader raping a puppy, I'm OK with the edited version. These tactics aren't radically different from what 60 Minutes has been doing for decades.
So 60 minutes has been faking video to make organizations it doesn't like look bad, and it's been doing it for decades? Maybe it's just been accepting faked video and using it to conduct smear campaigns against organizations it doesn't like. Either way, cite please.

Nars Glinley
12-11-2009, 08:10 PM
So 60 minutes has been faking video to make organizations it doesn't like look bad, and it's been doing it for decades? Maybe it's just been accepting faked video and using it to conduct smear campaigns against organizations it doesn't like. Either way, cite please.

The wiki article on 60 Minutes Controversies is a good place to start. Link. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60_Minutes#Controversies)

hotflungwok
12-11-2009, 09:46 PM
The wiki article on 60 Minutes Controversies is a good place to start. Link. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60_Minutes#Controversies)
And guess what? They got sued for it, and rightly so. So now do we get to watch these asshats get sued? Can they be forced to produce the raw footage and reveal their backers? Can all the right wing blowholes who called for all kinds of horrible things done to ACORN the second it was handed to them get sued as well? It doesn't matter if other people did it too, what they did was wrong, and they should be punished for it, criminal or civil.

Nars Glinley
12-11-2009, 10:19 PM
And guess what? They got sued for it, and rightly so. So now do we get to watch these asshats get sued? Can they be forced to produce the raw footage and reveal their backers? Can all the right wing blowholes who called for all kinds of horrible things done to ACORN the second it was handed to them get sued as well? It doesn't matter if other people did it too, what they did was wrong, and they should be punished for it, criminal or civil.

It wouldn't bother me one bit if pimp and ho got sued for their actions. I was just pointing out that gotcha journalism is not solely the work of the rightwing.

gonzomax
12-11-2009, 11:06 PM
The wiki article on 60 Minutes Controversies is a good place to start. Link. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60_Minutes#Controversies)

Thats all you have? The program has been on for decades and they have not been perfect. That is a pretty good track record, thanks for proving it.

Nars Glinley
12-12-2009, 07:02 AM
Thats all you have? The program has been on for decades and they have not been perfect. That is a pretty good track record, thanks for proving it.

No that's not all, it's a "good place to start." There are plenty of others which Google would find for you quickly but I'm sure that no matter how many there are, you'd say that that proves they have a pretty good track record. I'm not going to argue Sorites paradox with you.

Alienhand
12-12-2009, 09:03 AM
Judge blocks cutting off ACORN's federal funding (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5goHmEoyYhLPQ7xhPuFBAM-gBjbUAD9CHEQDO0).

Gershon said in her ruling that ACORN had raised a "fundamental issue of separation of powers. They have been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process adjudicating guilt."

The judge said the "public will not suffer harm by allowing the plaintiffs to continue work on contracts duly awarded by federal agencies."


Nice timing.

Lightnin'
12-12-2009, 09:19 AM
Judge blocks cutting off ACORN's federal funding (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5goHmEoyYhLPQ7xhPuFBAM-gBjbUAD9CHEQDO0).


That certainly explains why I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Republican voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

When come back, ACORN haters, bring evidence.

gonzomax
12-12-2009, 10:31 AM
Finally the repub hysteria has been properly responded to. It was a witch hunt. Now Fox can start to cry again.

Squink
12-12-2009, 12:02 PM
Finally the repub hysteria has been properly responded to.God bless our activist judges:

ACTIVIST FED JUDGE AWARDS MILLIONS IN TAXPAYER $$ TO THE FRAUDULENT & CORRUPT ACORN!! GUESS THE OBAMAS WERE CELEBRATING THEIR ACTIVIST BUDDIES VICTORY BY SERVING ACORN SHAPED COOKIES AT THEIR "CHRISTMAS" PARTY! (http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?letter_id=4394311621)

Activist Judge: Congress Cannot Stop Payments To ACORN (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2405837/posts)


Nina Gershon: She was appointed by President Bill Clinton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Gershon)

kaylasdad99
12-12-2009, 12:53 PM
Finally the repub hysteria has been properly responded to. It was a witch hunt. Now Fox can start to cry again.Ohhh, those sweet, sweet Fox tears! They taste like karmic justice!




Which tastes like candy corn, for some reason. It's very strange...

The Second Stone
12-12-2009, 01:18 PM
So the former attorney general's report has come out. He has noted that the police were called immediately in one of the interviews, and that the other interview was very heavily edited and the employee a Spanish language only employee. More importantly, he noted that ACORN should have better supervision of employees, but that was not related to the two interviews, which were essentially falsified (my words, not his). We also know that even prior to the interviews being presented as genuine, that the Right wing hates ACORN.

We I say that the right wing comes off with egg on it's face, once more willing to manufacture evidence about it's political opponents. This is not news.

Hamlet
12-12-2009, 01:39 PM
Copy of the report (http://www.proskauer.com/files/uploads/report2.pdf), I think.

Baltimore Office:

"The videographers initially spoke with a part-time ACORN employee. This employee
had been a member of Baltimore ACORN for 10 years and, at the time, worked in the Baltimore office as a receptionist and greeter. The videographers represented that they needed help and had been turned down elsewhere, and that Ms. Giles was a dancer and Mr. O’Keefe was a college student trying to help her. Although Mr. O’Keefe appeared in all videos dressed as a pimp, in fact, when he appeared at each and every office, he was dressed like a college student – in slacks and a button down shirt. Ms. Giles, however, was dressed as she appears in the videos."

"In addition, the tax employee noted that she did not intend to, nor did she, file any tax returns on Ms. Giles."

Brooklyn Office:

"When Mr. O’Keefe and Ms. Giles entered the Brooklyn office, the ACORN Housing
employee noted that it is a place of business, and Ms. Giles would have to go home and change into more appropriate clothing. Ms. Giles responded that if she went home, her pimp would beat her up. She said she had a quick question, and would then be on her way. The ACORN employee agreed to speak privately with Ms. Giles, who said she had an abusive pimp and wanted to get away. Ms. Giles stated that the pimp recruited 13-year-old girls to prostitution. Ms. Giles said she wanted to buy a house to protect them.
The ACORN Housing employee responded that Ms. Giles could not buy a house because her income derived from illegal activities. She also told Ms. Giles that she needed to get out of this situation and be smarter than this. The ACORN Housing employee has represented to her former colleagues that she felt sorry for Ms. Giles.
Employees in the Brooklyn office considered the incident a hoax because Ms. Giles was dressed like a stereotypical prostitute and, while claiming to fear her abusive pimp, proceeded to speak openly to strangers about her circumstances."

Miami Office:

"At the Miami ACORN office, Ms. Giles was asked whether she needed assistance with foreclosure or first-time home buying. Ms. Giles insisted that she speak
with the counselor privately. When the counselor agreed, Ms. Giles represented herself as a prostitute. The counselor responded by stating that everyone deserves a second chance, and provided Ms. Giles with a list of domestic violence shelters. Ms. Giles responded that she needed to have a house. The counselor noted that Ms. Giles needed three years of tax returns and that, since she hadn’t paid taxes, she needed to straighten things out with the IRS. The counselor
then ended the conversation. Before leaving, Ms. Giles pleaded with the counselor not to call the police or security, to which the counselor responded that perhaps ACORN Housing could help."

Philadelphia Office:

"This, combined with the fact that Mr. O’Keefe called from a New Jersey number
(listed under the name of his mother) raised ACORN’s suspicions. Mr. O’Keefe was told to call back at 3 p.m. Through an Internet search, the Legislative Director quickly identified Mr. O’Keefe and his blog, including his previous involvement in a campaign against Planned Parenthood.
Later that day, Mr. O’Keefe and Ms. Giles arrived on a different floor of the ACORN
office, and spoke with members of Philadelphia ACORN. They claimed they were referred to the office for help by the Legislative Director. When a staff member used a text message to alert the Legislative Director, the Legislative Director came downstairs. At that point, O’Keefe and Giles had left the office. The police were notified and arrived shortly thereafter."

San Bernandino:

"According to an affidavit prepared by the ACORN employee, she was suspicious of the videographers and their story; was scared for her safety; and responded to their comments with outrageous statements, including that she had killed her husband and had previously run an escort service. In fact, her former husbands are alive."

There is more, but we all get the idea. Well, maybe not all of us.

kaylasdad99
12-12-2009, 01:40 PM
We I say that the right wing comes off with egg on it's face, once more willing to manufacture evidence about it's political opponents.No fair tarring with such a broad brush, man! You can't fairly extrapolate the misdeeds of one bad-apple documentarian into an indictment of the entire Right Wing politico-punditstrial complex!

:rolleyes:

Anyway, you posted the word "it's" where "its" is appropriate (TWICE!! You MONSTER!!!). Your credibility is shot to hell.

Hamlet
12-12-2009, 01:45 PM
Having heard the inevitable cries of bias on the Harshberger report, I'll add this, from Salon writer Joe Conason:

"The videos, he writes, "represent the byproduct of ACORN's long-standing management weaknesses, including a lack of training, a lack of procedures and a lack of onsite supervision."

He notes that the "hidden camera controversy is perceived by many as a third strike against ACORN on the heels of the disclosure in June 2008 of an embezzlement cover-up, which triggered the firing of ACORN's founder, and the allegations of voter registration fraud during the 2008 election, done in collaboration with Project Vote," although he goes on to note that several U.S. attorneys found no basis to prosecute ACORN in the registration cases.

So rather than the "whitewash" reflexively denounced on right-wing Web sites, Harshbarger's report forthrightly reprimands the ACORN leadership for failing to "meet the expectations and requirements of the stakeholders who supported and benefited from its advocacy and service work." The report sets forth nine detailed recommendations for improved performance that Harshbarger says the organization must implement immediately."

elucidator
12-12-2009, 02:23 PM
...although he goes on to note that several U.S. attorneys found no basis to prosecute ACORN in the registration cases....

Oh, nice try, Comrade! But we're on to your sneaky lefty tricks and are not fooled! You note that several US Attorneys had not found a basis for prosecution, but leave out how many other US Attorneys did find such a basis! How very convenient!!

And those attorneys who were derelict in their duty? Well, ACORN had them fired anyway and tried to blame it all on that nice Mr. Gonzalez! That's a true fact, and you could look it up.

ElvisL1ves
12-12-2009, 02:26 PM
The specific issue of prostitution is not relevant here, although it makes splashier news than, say, disguising short-term capital gains as long term ones.Hence your choice of thread title, eh? :dubious:

MOIDALIZE
12-12-2009, 03:23 PM
Glenn Greenwald's (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/12/12/acorn/index.html) take on the federal court's ruling that the Defund ACORN act is unconstitutional provides a nice lesson on the Constitution's prohibition of bills of attainder, the importance of the separation of powers, and the hypocrisy of those who will inevitably denounce this as judicial activism.

dropzone
12-12-2009, 07:16 PM
Nina Gershon: She was appointed by President Bill Clinton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Gershon)And wasn't she in "Showgirls?" Definitely Clinton's type.

Bricker
12-12-2009, 07:45 PM
Glenn Greenwald's (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/12/12/acorn/index.html) take on the federal court's ruling that the Defund ACORN act is unconstitutional provides a nice lesson on the Constitution's prohibition of bills of attainder, the importance of the separation of powers, and the hypocrisy of those who will inevitably denounce this as judicial activism.

Well, this is not judicial activism.
I disagree with the court's ruling, and I'll point out that it's merely a district court ruling and therefore not a matter of precedent,and I expect it will be overturned on appeal.

But it's not activism. The mere fact that a court makes new law -- which the court has done here -- is not activism. The fact is, there's not a huge number of cases under the Bill of Attainder clause. What it means has not been shaped by case law, tradition, or statutory law. Never before in its history has it been construed in this way, but never before in its history has the issue even been considered. So it's up to the court to interpret the law, and the court acted reasonably. Wrongly, in my view, but someone can be reasonable and still be wrong, a point lost on many participants on the SDMB.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-12-2009, 11:49 PM
This Court didn't make a law, it enforced one.

Hamlet
12-13-2009, 10:15 AM
Well, this is not judicial activism.
I disagree with the court's ruling, and I'll point out that it's merely a district court ruling and therefore not a matter of precedent,and I expect it will be overturned on appeal.Why? From a factual standpoint, I see no way of trying to sell the defunding of ACORN as anything but legislative punishment without a trial. Do you disagree? Or is it that you don't think this punishment is a Bill of Attainder? Do you think that all funding decisions are unreviewable by courts? Or is it the catchall 'the judiciary shouldn't be doing this"? How do you distinguish the Lovett case?

I think it's pretty clear that this is legislative punishment (based largely on, lest we forget, bullshit accusations and done by stupid, cowardly Congresspeople). Even though being able to apply for discretionary funding is not a right per se, I can see no logical way to pretend this actions was anything but punitive.

ElvisL1ves
12-13-2009, 05:30 PM
But it's not activism. The mere fact that a court makes new law -- which the court has done here -- is not activism.Since, as we all know, that's a subject to which you have given great thought, and you have frequently made what would seem to be exactly the opposite point frequently and with great fervor, not to mention indignation, perhaps you could enlighten us all as to just where the distinction lies.

If, that is, it's something more principled than IOKIARDI.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-13-2009, 06:25 PM
I'm kind of curious as to what new law was made.

Nars Glinley
12-13-2009, 06:56 PM
I'm kind of curious as to what new law was made.

That Congress can't cut funding "in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process adjudicating guilt"?

elucidator
12-13-2009, 06:59 PM
No, he's got a nifty little trap door built in. Since there hasn't been much of anything done in relation to that principle, there isn't any "law" to speak of, therefore all "law" is new law. It doesn't matter that he's right, but he is.

Still, just because this is applied to scurvy dogs of the left, it bears watching. Mustn't let this sort of thing get out of hand, or we shan't be able to provide funding for real American organizations, like Blackwater or Haliburton. That would be a fine kettle of fish, eh?

kaylasdad99
12-14-2009, 01:14 PM
Mmmmm. Bouillabaisse made with Haliburton halibut and Blackwater black water.

Gyrate
12-15-2009, 04:55 AM
Is this going to be it from the right wing from now on? Nothing but bullshit hatchet jobs on anyone they don't like? Hey that group of people doesn't agree with us, let's get some video of their leader raping puppies! Seriously, don't you have any other tools in your belt?
I believe that it has been amply demonstrated that there are many, many right-wing tools.

Bricker
12-15-2009, 07:26 AM
Why? From a factual standpoint, I see no way of trying to sell the defunding of ACORN as anything but legislative punishment without a trial. Do you disagree? Or is it that you don't think this punishment is a Bill of Attainder? Do you think that all funding decisions are unreviewable by courts? Or is it the catchall 'the judiciary shouldn't be doing this"? How do you distinguish the Lovett case?

I think it's pretty clear that this is legislative punishment (based largely on, lest we forget, bullshit accusations and done by stupid, cowardly Congresspeople). Even though being able to apply for discretionary funding is not a right per se, I can see no logical way to pretend this actions was anything but punitive.

What was unsettled law (and remains so, unless you count the law of the case) is the question of cutting off future discretionary funding falls into the ambit of a legislative punishment. Past precedent makes clear that federal employee salaries cannot be targeted, but was utterly silent on the issue of future discretionary funding.

If this ruling is upheld, we'll have an extension of Bill of Attainder law -- a fact pattern that's covered that wasn't clear before. That's new law.

It's not activism, though, although I grant that the term gets thrown around alot as shorthand for "decision I don't like." But I've always been careful to draw a line between activism, which is caselaw grounded in something other than the text of the law being applied, and simple unwelcome interpretation, which this is.

As illustration of this principle, I like to point to Kyllo v. US, the infrared search case. Does the police use of infrared monitoring directed at the outside of a house constitute a search in Fourth Amendment terms? I say no. The Supremes disagreed. Neither result is "activist." It's simply uncharted ground. The Supremes' decision that "search" includes infrared is grounded in the text. But so is my idea that it doesn't. THIS is the job that courts have: to refine the words of the text in the face of specific factual situations.

So, too, here. "Bill of Attainder," means something. What? The courts have a chance now to apply those words to a specific factual situation that didn't exist before. It's certainly plausible that it includes any legislative action at all motivated by a sense of punishing guilt. It's also plausible, and a better approach (in my opinion) that it means something narrower.

So this decision isn't activism, any more than it will be activism if the circuit court overturns this decision. Unfortunately, some idiots nominally on "my side" will call this decision activism, just as some idiots not on my side will scream activism if the circuit court reverses.

Hamlet
12-15-2009, 08:30 AM
Bricker. I get the distinct feeling that you didn't read my questions to you. I have only a minor problem with your decision to call cases of first impression being called "making new law". However, If you read my post, the questions were about why you thought the opinion would be overturned on appeal and why you disagreed with it.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 09:28 AM
What reason is there to even think it will be appealed?

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 09:34 AM
That Congress can't cut funding "in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process adjudicating guilt"?
No such ruling was made. The law is that no individual or group can be punished without due process, and it's not new law, it's in the Constitution (Article 1, Sections 9 and 10).

You wouldn't want some activist judge ignoring the Constitution, would you?

Hamlet
12-15-2009, 09:35 AM
What reason is there to even think it will be appealed?Because Congress, the Treasury Department, and the OMB don't like being told they acted unconstitutionally, and they have more attorneys than you can shake a stick at to defend their actions. I'd be shocked, amazed, and bamboozled if they didn't appeal it.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 09:46 AM
The latter two work for Obama, who I'm guessing will not make any priority out of appealing a ruling that he probably likes.

Does Congress have any standing as a plaintiff by itself? How does that work? What can they do if they get no support from the Executive Branch?

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 09:53 AM
After reading the article again, I see that HUD, The Treasury Department, the OMB and "the US Government" were named as defendants in the lawsuit, but not specifically Congress. Can Congress represent itself per se as "the US Government?"

Also, Congress is still controlled by Democrats, last I checked. I don't know how the process of Congress appealing a Constitutional ruling would work, but it doesn't seem to me that the leadership in either House is likely to make this a priority any more than the Executive Branch.

Bricker
12-15-2009, 09:59 AM
Bricker. I get the distinct feeling that you didn't read my questions to you. I have only a minor problem with your decision to call cases of first impression being called "making new law". However, If you read my post, the questions were about why you thought the opinion would be overturned on appeal and why you disagreed with it.

You're only saying that because it's true.

Yes, guilty. I quoted your post but wrote a response that targeted a mishmash of Diogenes and elucidator's comments.

There are two reasons that I think the decision will be overturned. First, formost, and unassailably, it is in conflict with my personal experience of the Constitution. As we all know, this is an argument that brooks no contradiction and allows no rebuttal.

Almost as an unnecessary afterthought, though, I also have some legally-based reasons.

First I'll point out that of the injuries ACORN alleges, some of them are indeed covered by the Bill of Attainder clause. Judge Gershon's opinion relates the ACORN says botht hat agencies have refused to review their grant applications, and that agencies have refused to continue processing grants already awarded, or pay for work already performed. As I indicated in earlier discussions on this topic, I believe that the latter two categories are an unconstitutional interpretation of the law, and DO fall under the Bill of Attainder's prohibitions.

So to the extent that her decision involves payments for work already done and grants already awarded, I believe it's sound. However, her decision reaches farther, declaring that even a restriction on future funding is unconstitutional.

Her decision relies ona district court opinion from Florida, rather than on the precedent-setting Flemming v. Nestor and Selective Service v. Minnesota PIRG, both Supreme Court cases that show similar statutes to be non-punitive. I agree, for what it's worth, that if the Florida district court's opinion were binding precedent, this would be a closer call. But it isn't, and it's not for a district judge to rely on nonbinding precedent from another district judge who's not even in her circuit over binding precedent in her circuit, and, indeed, the country.

Bricker
12-15-2009, 10:00 AM
What reason is there to even think it will be appealed?

Um...

Call it a crazy hunch.

Nars Glinley
12-15-2009, 10:06 AM
No such ruling was made. The law is that no individual or group can be punished without due process, and it's not new law, it's in the Constitution (Article 1, Sections 9 and 10).

You wouldn't want some activist judge ignoring the Constitution, would you?

Sadly, my subscription to "Bill of Attainder Monthly" has expired. At what point did the courts decide that denial of future funding was "punishment"?

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 10:07 AM
Who's going to appeal it? Which defendant?

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 10:08 AM
Sadly, my subscription to "Bill of Attainder Monthly" has expired. At what point did the courts decide that denial of future funding was "punishment"?
Congrss made the decision to use it as a form of punishment. All the Court did was call them on it.

Bricker
12-15-2009, 10:10 AM
Sadly, my subscription to "Bill of Attainder Monthly" has expired. At what point did the courts decide that denial of future funding was "punishment"?

See my post. One federal district court in the Northern District of Florida in 2006, and now this court.

Neither set precedent. And there's existing Supreme Court precedent that tends to cut in the other direction.

Bricker
12-15-2009, 10:11 AM
Congrss made the decision to use it as a form of punishment. All the Court did was call them on it.

But they didn't have any right to future funding.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 10:20 AM
But Congress did this specifically as a punitive measure, and it's disingenuous to say otherwise.

The Bill of Attainder argument also involves more than just the appearance of punishment. It involves cutting off future funding for ACORN on the basis of a stipulation which applies to far more organizations (and far more egregiously) than ACORN. So ACORN was clearly being singled out. Congress can't use an unequal application of the standard for funding. If it's going to cut off ACORN, then it has to cut off all those sugar daddy defense contracters too. NOt to do so means that ACORN is being specifically singled out and punished. ACORN has the same rights as those defense contractors.

kaylasdad99
12-15-2009, 10:20 AM
Sadly, my subscription to "Bill of Attainder Monthly" has expired. At what point did the courts decide that denial of future funding was "punishment"?Where can I find a succinct summary of the action taken by Congress that resulted in ACORN being declared ineligible to participate in programs that involve participants receiving federal funds? 'Cos whether it fits the definition of "punishment" a prior determination of ineligibility strikes me as fishy.

But that's probably because I'm not sufficiently informed about what happened. Hence my request.

Hamlet
12-15-2009, 10:31 AM
There are two reasons that I think the decision will be overturned. First, formost, and unassailably, it is in conflict with my personal experience of the Constitution. As we all know, this is an argument that brooks no contradiction and allows no rebuttal.I want $300,000 cash in small bills or I send pictures of you and the Constitutions involved in "personal experiences" at the Watergate hotel to the press.

First I'll point out that of the injuries ACORN alleges, some of them are indeed covered by the Bill of Attainder clause. Judge Gershon's opinion relates the ACORN says botht hat agencies have refused to review their grant applications, and that agencies have refused to continue processing grants already awarded, or pay for work already performed. As I indicated in earlier discussions on this topic, I believe that the latter two categories are an unconstitutional interpretation of the law, and DO fall under the Bill of Attainder's prohibitions.We agree on this.

So to the extent that her decision involves payments for work already done and grants already awarded, I believe it's sound. However, her decision reaches farther, declaring that even a restriction on future funding is unconstitutional.To be fair, she does not rule that Congress has to fund ACORN in the future. What she found was that a blanket prohibition that cuts ACORN, and only ACORN (specificity) out of all funding past and future (punishment) without concern for the regulations already in place to deal with debarrments violate the Constitution's prohibition on Bill of Attainder.

Her decision relies ona district court opinion from Florida, rather than on the precedent-setting Flemming v. Nestor and Selective Service v. Minnesota PIRG, both Supreme Court cases that show similar statutes to be non-punitive.Both SS v. Minnesota and Flemming came down to whether the legislative action had a "non-punitive legislative purpose" (in Flemming a whole system of Social Security disbursements and SS the registration for the draft), and not a single piece of legislation that singled out a single group for singular punishment. In this case, there already is a regulatory scheme already in place for stopping payment to groups that are involved in misconduct (oddly enough Blackwater and tons of defense contractors still get payments. Go figure how that works). Both cases aren't even close to being "binding precedent".

But putting aside all the legal mumbo jumbo and dealing with the issue in a realistic manner (like Judge Gershon did), I see no possible way to argue the Defund ACORN Act (hard to argue that's not punitive isn't it?) isn't meant to be a punishment, which is clearly forbidden by the Bill of Attainder. Were the facts different and it weren't so blatantly obvious what Congress was doing, you could have convinced me that it isn't punishment to stop one specific group from obtaining government payments in the future. But when there is an entire regulatory scheme for handling those kinds of issues, and Congress simply ignored that scheme in order to appease the demogoguery of the right, reality and common sense make it obvious it is a punishment.

Bricker
12-15-2009, 10:39 AM
But putting aside all the legal mumbo jumbo and dealing with the issue in a realistic manner (like Judge Gershon did)...

I agree with you: that's exactly what she did. Problem is, she doesn't have the right to do that. She can't say, "Forget all the legal mumbo-jumbo, we all know what happened here."

How would you react if a federal judge in Massachusetts enjoined the state legislature from their latest changeabout with respect to how replacement seantors are handled? It would be interesting indeed to have that imaginary judge say, "Look, we all know what's happening here -- you had a Democratic governor who could appoint replacement senators, then you had a Republican governor and you took away the power to appoint a senator; now you have a Democratic one and you bring it back. It's hidden behind legal mumbo-jumbo, but it's a violation of substantive due process, which at its heart is a guarantee of fairness. So you're enjoined."

You would (I assume) rightly be enraged.

I see no possible way to argue the Defund ACORN Act (hard to argue that's not punitive isn't it?) isn't meant to be a punishment, which is clearly forbidden by the Bill of Attainder. Were the facts different and it weren't so blatantly obvious what Congress was doing, you could have convinced me that it isn't punishment to stop one specific group from obtaining government payments in the future. But when there is an entire regulatory scheme for handling those kinds of issues, and Congress simply ignored that scheme in order to appease the demogoguery of the right, reality and common sense make it obvious it is a punishment.

It's a punishment, but it's not the sort of punishment that the Bill of Attainder is meant to prohibit.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 10:44 AM
If you agree that it's a punishment, then it's game over. The Constitution doesn't distinguish between "sorts of" punishment.

I'd still kind of like an answer as to which defendant you think is going to appeal, by the way.

I'm also still curious (an this is a genuine question, not a rhetorical or loaded one) as to whether Congress can represent itself per se as "The US Government." If not, then how can Congress have the standing to appeal?

Bricker
12-15-2009, 10:50 AM
If you agree that it's a punishment, then it's game over. The Constitution doesn't distinguish between "sorts of" punishment.


That's simply not true.

I don't mean to be personally insulting, but I'm also not interested in doing thirty minutes of research to provide cites that you will just ignore, something that's happened enough in the past that I'm reasonably confident of a similar outcome here.

So -- if there's anyone reading this who might be interested in different types of punishment from a Constitutional perspective, please chime in.


I'd still kind of like an answer as to which defendant you think is going to appeal, by the way.


Any agency whose actions were flouted by this decision will appeal.

I'm also still curious (an this is a genuine question, not a rhetorical or loaded one) as to whether Congress can represent itself per se as "The US Government." If not, then how can Congress have the standing to appeal?

No, unless the action were being taken directly by Congress. Congress passes a law saying, "Agencies: do X." Aggrieved party sues agency, saying doing X is unconstitutional. Court orders agency to stop doing X. Agency is the one that appeals.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 10:55 AM
That's simply not true.
Where does the Constution say that some forms of punishment are allowed without due process but not others?
Any agency whose actions were flouted by this decision will appeal.
All of those agencies are controlled by a President who is not likely to have any interest in appealing a decision he probably likes. Do you really think Obama is going to make any priority out of appealing this? Why would he?
No, unless the action were being taken directly by Congress. Congress passes a law saying, "Agencies: do X." Aggrieved party sues agency, saying doing X is unconstitutional. Court orders agency to stop doing X. Agency is the one that appeals.
So Congress has no standing to appeal, and Obama has no motivation to appeal.

kaylasdad99
12-15-2009, 11:00 AM
If you agree that it's a punishment, then it's game over. The Constitution doesn't distinguish between "sorts of" punishment.I'm still trying to learn what's happening in this case, but that strikes me as a nonsensical pronouncement.

The Constitution doesn't "distinguish between 'sorts of' free speech" either. Or "sorts of" searches and seizures. Or "sorts of" cruel and unusual punishments. That kind of stuff falls under the rubric of "interpreting the Constitution" doesn't it? Something the judiciary does.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 11:03 AM
I'm talking about as it pertains to a Bill of Attainder.

kaylasdad99
12-15-2009, 11:07 AM
All of those agencies are controlled by a President who is not likely to have any interest in appealing a decision he probably likes. Do you really think Obama is going to make any priority out of appealing this? Why would he?Maybe, just maybe, because he doesn't think he wants to spend his political capital on taking a dive on it.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 11:14 AM
He won't take a dive on it. No one cares about ACORN but the teabaggers who are already inaccessible to him anyway. He'd take a much greater political hit if he started participating in the GOP's ridiculous (and transparently racist) vendetta against ACORN, both in terms of support from his own base and from the logistical support which is incidentally derived from ACORN's voter registration drives than he would by just tabling this ruling and ignoring it.

None of these agencies are bothered by the decision. It's pretty much what they all wanted.

kaylasdad99
12-15-2009, 11:15 AM
I'm talking about as it pertains to a Bill of Attainder.But that's the thing, Dio. The Constitution doesn't even say what a bill of attainder is. It just says Congress can't pass one. When I first studied the Constitution in seventh grade, I thought it referred to ALL laws that call out an individual. Imagine my shock when I found that Congress is not forbidden to settle a benefit on an individual. It made me realize that I didn't really know exactly what a Bill of Attainder is.

I'm still not sure.

kaylasdad99
12-15-2009, 11:22 AM
He won't take a dive on it. No one cares about ACORN but the teabaggers who are already inaccessible to him anyway. He'd take a much greater political hit if he started participating in the GOP's ridiculous (and transparently racist) vendetta against ACORN, both in terms of support from his own base and from the logistical support which is incidentally derived from ACORN's voter registration drives than he would by just tabling this ruling and ignoring it.

None of these agencies are bothered by the decision. It's pretty much what they all wanted.I dunno, I just feel more inclined to trust Bricker's intuition than yours on an issue like this. No offense, I just feel I'd rather have a pleasant surprise than an unpleasant one, if a surprise is going to come.

MOIDALIZE
12-15-2009, 12:32 PM
Why no mention of Lovett? In Lovett, Congress tried to legislatively kick people out of their government jobs upon determination that they were Commies. The bill they enacted sought to bar any future payment for their work to them, and effectively barred them from federal service. The Court said that was a bill of attainder because it was punishing them without benefit of a judicial trial.

The fact that this funding is for a discretionary benefit doesn't matter. Otherwise we should have no problem with a bill that prohibits NRA members from receiving Social Security, or a bill that declared Blackwater to be Very Bad and to permanently bar them or any of their affiliates from ever receiving a government contract.

RTFirefly
12-15-2009, 12:39 PM
But that's the thing, Dio. The Constitution doesn't even say what a bill of attainder is. It just says Congress can't pass one. When I first studied the Constitution in seventh grade, I thought it referred to ALL laws that call out an individual. Imagine my shock when I found that Congress is not forbidden to settle a benefit on an individual. It made me realize that I didn't really know exactly what a Bill of Attainder is.

I'm still not sure.Neither am I, but I would hope my conservative friends such as Bricker would at least be a bit troubled by the idea that Congress could write a law to make life difficult for a particular individual or corporation. I'd hope the courts would interpret the prohibition on bills of attainder as broadly as possible to prevent that sort of abuse of power.

(The legislature's being able to say, "You, Frederick Quincy Somerville (I made that name up, hopefully there isn't a person with that name - Google isn't turning up any hits!), yeah, YOU can't ever win any Federal contracts or grants ever again. Why? Because we don't like you!" certainly strikes me as an abuse of power.)

Could it be used by parties in Congress to deprive their political enemies of business opportunities open to others similarly situated? That's what they just did, so yes. If the courts rule that that's as legal as church on Sunday, it'll open up a world of hurt for the opponents of whichever party is more ruthless over time.

Hamlet
12-15-2009, 01:36 PM
I agree with you: that's exactly what she did. Problem is, she doesn't have the right to do that. She can't say, "Forget all the legal mumbo-jumbo, we all know what happened here." You should know that wasn't what I was talking about, but I guess you had to try and score some kind of "you want to ignore the law" point, so I hope it was fun for you.

The issue is whether the Defund Acorn Act violated the Bill of Attainder clause. The Supreme Court has created a two piece test for that determination, one specificity and one whether it is punishment. The law is certainly specific, of that there is no doubt. The question then is if it is punishment, which, as I've said, it is. And the Court found it was without having to "ignore all the legal mumbo jumbo" as you assert. Your insistence on gotcha gameplaying at the expense of analysis is sad. Not surprising coming from you, just sad.

Hamlet
12-15-2009, 01:44 PM
But that's the thing, Dio. The Constitution doesn't even say what a bill of attainder is. It just says Congress can't pass one. When I first studied the Constitution in seventh grade, I thought it referred to ALL laws that call out an individual. Imagine my shock when I found that Congress is not forbidden to settle a benefit on an individual. It made me realize that I didn't really know exactly what a Bill of Attainder is.One thing that helped me get a quick grasp on the issue is this piece written by the Congressional Research Service (http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:DAitoNuwC3cJ:assets.opencrs.com/rpts/R40826_20090922.pdf+flemming+v.+nester+ACORN&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESi_VRq8f0X3V0KLVy8oSqoWOxYqGIFIcR3T4EEPhO1YH2dp-zVt-N0FPnR4zcdg7xfpqDthIp-uL7zd5v0CqnFbAjWjqty5uZlTCo4psvcueBXYMFsjQ9al3vwXp1Yj8rbrcg0R&sig=AHIEtbQ6ocbMX5pWaemZl1vHE1tYlddaIw) It gives a good introduction to the Bill of Attainder ("the Supreme Court has defined a bill of attainder as a "law that legislatively determines guilt and inflicts punishment upon an identifiable individual without provision of the protections of a judicial trial"). There is much more there, much of it dealing with the ACORN act. I hope it helps.

elucidator
12-15-2009, 01:57 PM
On the bright side, his exquisite parsing of the word "punishment" offers some hope for the Shoot All the Lawyers Bill of 2011, if it can be expressed as a matter of social hygiene and not as "punishment".

Lobohan
12-15-2009, 03:43 PM
I notice that the subject of the thread has been changed. I wonder if it's because the OP has realized that his initial stance was poorly grounded and based on ideology.

I wonder.

Hamlet
12-15-2009, 03:45 PM
Why no mention of Lovett? Lovett involved an Act of Congress that forbid the discretionary payment in the future to a group of people after a right wing witchhunt finding that they were disloyal, bad people.

Oh... Wait....

kaylasdad99
12-15-2009, 05:46 PM
(The legislature's being able to say, "You, Frederick Quincy Somerville (I made that name up, hopefully there isn't a person with that name - Google isn't turning up any hits!), yeah, YOU can't ever win any Federal contracts or grants ever again. Why? Because we don't like you!" certainly strikes me as an abuse of power.)Yes, that's my sense. But, knowing that Bricker tends not to be in the habit of makng up his arguments out of the whole cloth, I'd very much appreciate being pointed to a source where I can educate myself on the specifics of l'affaire ACORN.

Bricker
12-15-2009, 06:33 PM
You should know that wasn't what I was talking about, but I guess you had to try and score some kind of "you want to ignore the law" point, so I hope it was fun for you.

The issue is whether the Defund Acorn Act violated the Bill of Attainder clause. The Supreme Court has created a two piece test for that determination, one specificity and one whether it is punishment. The law is certainly specific, of that there is no doubt. The question then is if it is punishment, which, as I've said, it is. And the Court found it was without having to "ignore all the legal mumbo jumbo" as you assert. Your insistence on gotcha gameplaying at the expense of analysis is sad. Not surprising coming from you, just sad.

Speaking of...

...did we ever settle up our NSA eavesdropping wager from 2006? I honestly don't recall...

Hamlet
12-15-2009, 08:00 PM
Speaking of...Ummmm, we were speaking of why you think Judge Gershon's ruling will be overturned on appeal and your insistence on playing gotcha instead of actual analysis of the issue. We weren't speaking of illegal wiretapping.
...did we ever settle up our NSA eavesdropping wager from 2006? I honestly don't recall...As I remember, it was a wash. The only court that ruled on the merits of the case found it to be unconstitutional, but the 6th circuit dismissed it relying on a standing issue. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Bricker
12-15-2009, 08:08 PM
Ummmm, we were speaking of why you think Judge Gershon's ruling will be overturned on appeal and your insistence on playing gotcha instead of actual analysis of the issue. We weren't speaking of illegal wiretapping.

Yes, that's true. But it reminded me of our earlier discussion, since that, too, was predicting the results of an appeal from a district court decision to the federal circuit, with each of us predicting a different outcome. In other words, this discussion of prognostication reminded me of a similar discussion we had in the past.


As I remember, it was a wash. The only court that ruled on the merits of the case found it to be unconstitutional, but the 6th circuit dismissed it relying on a standing issue. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

That rings a faint bell... seems to me the bet hinged on whether the state secrets would be dispositive, and it got dumped on standing.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-15-2009, 08:22 PM
I'm still curious as to why you think the Obama adminstration would be motivated to challenge this decison at all.

Mr. Moto
12-16-2009, 02:23 PM
Having heard the inevitable cries of bias on the Harshberger report, I'll add this, from Salon writer Joe Conason:

"The videos, he writes, "represent the byproduct of ACORN's long-standing management weaknesses, including a lack of training, a lack of procedures and a lack of onsite supervision."

He notes that the "hidden camera controversy is perceived by many as a third strike against ACORN on the heels of the disclosure in June 2008 of an embezzlement cover-up, which triggered the firing of ACORN's founder, and the allegations of voter registration fraud during the 2008 election, done in collaboration with Project Vote," although he goes on to note that several U.S. attorneys found no basis to prosecute ACORN in the registration cases.

So rather than the "whitewash" reflexively denounced on right-wing Web sites, Harshbarger's report forthrightly reprimands the ACORN leadership for failing to "meet the expectations and requirements of the stakeholders who supported and benefited from its advocacy and service work." The report sets forth nine detailed recommendations for improved performance that Harshbarger says the organization must implement immediately."

I just don't know how this could be true. After all, ACORN was the victim in the embezzlement case.

;)

Diogenes the Cynic
12-16-2009, 04:05 PM
That's correct, they were. You dispute that?

ElvisL1ves
12-16-2009, 05:26 PM
Apparently he's commenting on Harshbarger's criticism of them for having such sloppy management that embezzlement could occur so easily. Which is still blaming the victim, of course, but at least has some veneer of reasonability, unlike Mr. Moto's earlier and more choleric partisan excoriations.

Mr. Moto
12-17-2009, 08:13 AM
C'mon - this needn't be so absolute. When ACORN workers were prosecuted for fraud in Seattle a couple of years back, the organization was not prosecuted - but they did proceed under a consent decree to tighten up their training and supervisory procedures.

Also, those defending ACORN wouldn't likely defend the embezzlement of close to a million dollars from the organization in 1999-2000 by the brother of Wade Rathke, the organization's founder - nor the fact that this crime was kept secret from donors and even the ACORN board so that that man's reputation could be protected. This blew up last year forcing Dale Rathke to leave the organization (amazingly, he had continued to work for ACORN after the theft) and Wade to reduce his role there.

Link. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/us/09embezzle.html)

And now comes this.

ISTM that ACORN has a few matters to set right. And frankly an organization like this has to build up a reputation for integrity. Wade Rathke said he hid the embezzlement because he didn't want that to be used as a weapon against the organization - but the coverup was worse than the original crime as far as perceptions like this go.

There are conservative organizations I don't donate to because I don't trust them. Were I a liberal, this might be true of ACORN.

How is this materially different from what Conason and Harshberger wrote?