WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Pennsylvania judge rejected state Republican party demands to obtain lists of voters registered by the community group known as ACORN.
The state GOP accuses ACORN of widespread fraud in helping register some 140,000 voters in Pennsylvania.
ACORN welcomed the ruling against the Pennsylvania state Republican party, spokeswoman Ali Kronley told CNN Friday, turning the GOP charges back against the party.
"This kind of manufactured crisis is masking their own efforts to keep voters from voting," she said.
The top lawyer representing the Pennsylvania Republicans said they were "disappointed."
But, Heather Heidelbaugh added, the wording of the court order indicates the judge thinks ACORN has problems.
The judge said he would favor "expedited discovery" should someone want to pursue "evidence that in Pennsylvania practices of ACORN Outreach Workers can encourage duplicate voter registration."
The case hinges on allegations that ACORN canvassers are not trained properly, leading to improper voter registrations.
Anita Moncreif, a former ACORN worker, testified Wednesday, describing what she considered a pattern of inadequate training of canvassers, who then were left to face prosecution for bogus registrations.
Moncreif once worked at ACORN's national offices in Washington, DC, but on cross-examination, she acknowledged she had no direct knowledge of ACORN's activities in Pennsylvania.
The judge, Robert Simpson, said the Pennsylvania Republicans failed to convince him of the need for a preliminary injunction that would have required immediate action in the final days before the election.
A top state elections official was critical of the GOP's lawsuit, and issued a statement applauding the judge for refusing to step in.
"The claims were a frivolous attempt to undermine voter confidence in the upcoming election," wrote Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortis, who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.
Pennsylvania officials dispute whether the court should be involved.
State elections attorney Albert Masland told CNN during a break in the hearing Wednesday that "there have been a couple of district attorneys in the Commonwealth who have filed charges against people for fraud. That shows the system is working."
"Beyond that," he added, "I think this is really more sound and fury and a whole lot less substance."
ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.