Sunday, November 29, 2009

Justice Department Concludes Government Contracts With ACORN From Before Funding Ban Can be Paid

Despite the Senate making it extra clear that they do not want ACORN getting any government funds, just as Congress made it extra clear that ACORN should get no government funds) (see also Johanns Amendment #2355 to H.R. 3288 Passes), the Justice Department has concluded that ACORN can be paid for contracts made before the ban.

I agree with the assessment. It is similar the AIG situation in which the Democrats wanted to make a special tax to remove contractual bonuses which passed in the House. I opined in both posts that we should be frightened at such blatant disregard for contract law. No new contracts can or should be made, but any currently in in effect should be honored. It is interesting how the Democrats seem to be lining up on the opposite side of the issue now. A cynical person might point out that the politicians seem to switch sides based on who it would effect, but I am hopeful that they have just learned they were wrong initially and are now on the right side for good.

"The Holder Justice Department has concluded that the Obama administration can lawfully pay Acorn for services provided under contracts signed before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group. Here is the Office of Legal Counsel memo reaching this conclusion.
OLC opts for this interpretation because it avoids a construction which might require the government to breach its contractual obligations to ACORN. In my opinion, this stated DOJ objective is a worthy one, whatever we think of ACORN, and I don't assume that it's just a pretext by OLC for favoring ACORN. However, it seems to me that OLC avoids the result it disfavors only by ignoring the plain meaning of the statute Congress enacted, which is unworthy of DOJ."

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