|ACORN v. Corbett|
ACORN filed suit in the U.S. District Court Western Division of Pennsylvania, against Allegheny County district attorney, Stephen Zappala and state attorney general, Tom Corbett in response to published threats by Zappala to prosecute ACORN under an unprecedented and extremely broad interpretation of Pennsylvania Law on canvasser compensation.
Project Vote made two arguments: first, the statute was unconstitutionally enforced by the Allegheny County district attorney when he brought charges against canvassers for working for an employer that would terminate their employment if they did not collect 21 applications. Secondly, the statute's prohibition against piece-rate pay for applications was unconstitutional.
Judge Nora Barry Fischer issued a decision on July 27, 2011 granting the commonwealth’s motion for Summary Judgment and denying our counter motion for Summary Judgment, finding that "[t]here is no basis in law, reason or common sense to construe §1713(a) to prohibit an entity from discharging a canvasser for failing to secure a minimum number of voter-registration applications during the course of a particular shift (or over the course of several shifts)."
Because the Attorney General agreed with the Court, Judge Fischer found there was no case or controversy. On the second issue, she found that the prohibition was reasonable and “did not significantly impinge on constitutionally protected rights.”
Complaint. July 2009.
Order Granting Motion to Amend. May 2010.
Coming Soon: Amended Complaint. May 2010.
Consent Agreement Order regarding Zappala. May 2010.
Opinion Granting Motion for Summary Judgement to Defendant. July 27, 2011.
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