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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A “bill of attainder” is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial and includes any legislative act which takes away the life, liberty or property of a particular named or easily ascertainable person or group of persons because legislature thinks them guilty of conduct which deserves punishment. Cummings v. Missouri, U.S.Mo.1866, 71 U.S. 277, 18 L.Ed. 356, 4 Wall. 277. See, also, Bauer v. Acheson, D.C.D.C.1952, 106 F.Supp. 445.
the Bill of Attainder Clause was intended not as a narrow, technical (and therefore soon to be outmoded) prohibition, but rather as an implementation of the separation of powers, a general safeguard against legislative exercise of the judicial function, or more simply-trial by legislature.
ACORN is a non-profit, non-partisan social justice organization with national headquarters in New York, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.
The measure, added to a larger bill on reforming student loans that won House approval, follows a provision passed earlier in the week by the Senate that would halt Housing and Urban Development grants to ACORN.
Both measures would have to have their differences reconciled in Congress to take effect.
ACORN's chief executive officer says that the group gets most of its money from members and other supporters and that its operations would continue even if it is cut off from government grants.