Washington (CNN) -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has refused an emergency request from housing advocacy group ACORN, which had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in a dispute over its loss of federal funding.
Ginsburg, in an unsigned order Friday, decided the high court would not get involved now in a pending lawsuit over whether Congress acted improperly in shutting off federal funds to support the private group after the release of controversial internet videos.
A federal appeals court in New York has temporarily blocked a judge's determination that the funds were being improperly withheld.
Ginsburg has jurisdiction over emergency appeals filed from the 3rd Circuit, which includes New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. She had the option of asking the other members of the Supreme Court to help decide the time-sensitive matter, but chose to act on her own.
ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, was founded in 1970. It is a consortium of groups billing itself as "the nation's largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people," with offices nationwide. They promote neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, and other social justice issues.
The group has been on the edge of bankruptcy for nearly a year, and more than half of its 30 nationwide chapters had disbanded or severed ties with the national organization in recent months.
Congress cut funding after secretly taped videos surfaced last year showing employees in various ACORN offices advising a woman and man posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend how to lie about their illicit activities and hide her earnings. The videos proved embarrassing and ACORN leaders vowed at the time to conduct an internal investigation.
The Internal Revenue Service later removed ACORN from its volunteer tax-assistance program. ACORN leaders claimed they were victims of conservative opponents out to destroy the group.
Questions had also been raised about the group's voter registration drives in recent local and federal elections, and there had been allegations of embezzlement by a top ACORN associate.