Congress was clear in its decision to defund ACORN. The plain language of the Continuing Resolution (CR) is unmistakable:

“None of the funds made available by this joint resolution or any prior Act may be provided to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied organizations.”

[Read that again. It’s crystal clear.]

The Department of Justice has however issued a memorandum severely narrowing its application.

Harvard Law School professor and Acting Assistant Attorney General David J. Barron concluded that the CR “should not be read as directing or authorizing HUD to breach a pre-existing binding contractual obligation to make payments to ACORN or its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied organizations where doing so would give rise to contractual liability.” He reaches this conclusion by parsing the definition of the term “provided.” I wonder where Professor Barron was when President Clinton was attempting to define the word “is.”

This memorandum and its conclusions defy both logic and common sense.

Now we turn to the brief filed last week by the government. It defends the defunding of ACORN noting that the Executive Branch has interpreted the CR ban on funding narrowly, and relying heavily on the fact that a CR is by definition temporary in nature.

The brief relies on the Barron memorandum noting that “the Executive Branch has interpreted [the ban on funding] more narrowly, such that ‘section 163 does not direct or authorize [Agencies] to refuse payment on binding contractual obligations that predate the Continuing Appropriations Resolution.’”

To reinforce the point that the defunding is only temporary attorney Peter Leary states that “[t]ellingly, three of the four full-year Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations Acts that have been enacted since the CR went into effect contain no provisions foreclosing plaintiffs from applying for or receiving federal grants.” The message is clear, Obama’s Justice Department will defend the actions of Congress to defund ACORN so long as they are only temporary and the free-flowing access to federal funds is restored soon.

via Big Government » Blog Archive » DOJ Defends ACORN Funding Ban While Gutting It.

If ACORN weren’t important to Obama’s agenda, it’d be toast.