ACORN Sues Whistleblowers for Exposing Its Wrongdoing in Scandal

ACORN is now suing the whistleblowers who allegedly filmed it promoting illegal sexual activities for $2 million! And not just them, but also the conservative web site that made the video public! ACORN seeks an injunction to silence them — a classic example of an unconstitutional prior restraint.

That’s a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, but the lawsuit was filed in state court in Baltimore, where the judges are very liberal, so who knows if ACORN’s lawsuit will be dismissed. Even if it is, the lawsuit will cost the whistleblowers thousands of dollars in lawyers’ bills. The Baltimore City prosecutor has already expressed hostility to the whistleblowers who exposed ACORN’s wrongdoing, threatening to prosecute them under a state “privacy” law restricting audiotaping.

(Similar “privacy” laws in Massachusetts have been used to shield kidnappers calling in ransom demands, and police abusing motorists!).

I earlier discussed some of the First Amendment issues here. A commenter at National Review argued that the lawsuit is meritless even if you ignore the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court has held that privacy lawsuits, and lawsuits in general, can’t be based on protected speech, in cases like Bartnicki v. Vopper.  That principle was extended by today’s appeals court ruling in Snyder v. Phelps overturning a Maryland jury’s $5 million damage award for intrusion-upon-seclusion, and an earlier ruling limiting state audiotaping laws in Jean v. Massachusetts State Police (2007).

The IRS just ended its controversial relationship with ACORN, which earlier had its housing funds cut-off by Congress over a recent controversy, and is now embroiled in a tax evasion scandal.

ACORN has long received taxpayer money despite a history of financial fraud and voter registration fraud. ACORN helped spawn the mortgage crisis by promoting “liar loans.”

ACORN is a left-wing group that launched Obama’s career as a community organizer. He has long-standing ties to ACORN, and an ACORN affiliate received received $800,000 from Obama’s campaign. ACORN stands to profit greatly from Obama’s financial-regulation proposals, which would strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act (The Community Reinvestment Act is extremely harmful to banks and prudent lending, pressuring banks to make risky, low-income loans).

ACORN affiliates would also likely profit from Obama’s health-care plan, which contains subsidies for community organizers. (Obama’s health care plan would raise taxes, break promises, increase the deficit, destroy many inexpensive health-care plans, and take away important freedoms.)