A federal appellate court has reversed (.pdf) a lower court's holding that a congressional ban on funding to ACORN violated the Constitution, and held instead that the law passes muster.
A three-judge panel on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that the legislation banning federal contracts with ACORN's family of organizations did not constitute "punishment," and that the law is not, thus, an unconstitutional bill of attainder.
The panel of two Republican appointees and one Democratic appointee ruled unanimously.
ACORN foe Rep. Darrell Issa:
In one, unified and bipartisan voice, the United States Congress and the president agreed that it was inappropriate to use taxpayer dollars to fund a partisan political organization, intentionally structured as a criminal enterprise that used the guise of charity to deceive the American people while betraying very people it claimed to help. Hopefully, today's ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals puts an end to ACORN's misguided belief that there exists some right to taxpayer dollars to fund their overtly criminal and partisan political agenda.
UPDATE: William Quigley, the legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents ACORN, e-mails that his side will ask the Court of Appeals to reconsider:
[The] decision is deeply flawed. We are going to keep fighting alongside ACORN. We are planning to ask the US Second Circuit to reconsider the case en banc by all the judges. We cannot let Congress act like judge, jury and executioner without any hearings at all. No matter how politically unpopular and vulnerable ACORN is, we cannot allow right wing to pressure Congress into acting in unconstitutional manner. (Source)