(CN) – The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal by Acorn against the government for blocking federal funding for the activist group.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit had upheld Congress’ rebuke of the organization, known as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which for years has been plagued by mismanagement.
The Manhattan-based appeals court had originally overturned a Brooklyn judge’s ruling that the funding cut was unconstitutional because it effectively punished ACORN without an investigation or trial.
Lawmakers cut off Acorn in an October 2009 stop-gap spending bill and then excluded the organization from an appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010.
Acorn came under public scrutiny after a whistleblower revealed that the founder’s brother had embezzled nearly $1 million from the organization. Executives for the group had allegedly agreed to let him repay the money quietly, as part of a confidential agreement.
The organization was also accused of engaging in voter-registration fraud and using charitable donations for political purposes. A new scandal surfaced last summer, when “hidden camera” videos purportedly showed Acorn volunteers and employees offering advice on a proposed prostitution business.
Though an independent investigation by the California Attorney General’s Office found the videos to be heavily edited, “manipulated” and “distorted,” it also found that the conversations were “highly inappropriate” but did not violate any state criminal laws.