The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a suit in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh on behalf of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) asking a federal judge to strike down a Pennsylvania law used to prosecute some former workers for ACORN which allegedly sued a quota system in gathering voter registrations for the November 2008 election.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala and State Attorney General Tom Corbett were named in the suit. Zappala charged 5 fired ACORN workers and 2 other people with collecting or submitting false registration forms to meet alleged quotas set by ACORN officials. Corbett was named because as Attorney General he defends challenges to state laws.
ACLU of Pennsylvania legal director Witold Walczak says the state law says a person may not solicit or accept payment or incentive to obtain voter registrations if the payment is based upon the number of registrations.
Walczak called the law "vague" and says it "prevents ACORN from using commonplace management tools like performance standards and productivity goals to manage paid employees" and that imposes "a major burden on constitutionally protected political activity."
Walczak says he has talked with Zappala who wants to look over the ACLU's arguments against this law. The D.A. has agreed not to charge either ACORN officials or the agency itself before a federal judge decides whether the statute is unconstitutional.