Letter Sent to Congress in Support of Civil Access to Justice Act
by Amanda Adams*
Feb 16, 2010
Over 150 national, state and local groups, including OMB Watch signed on to a letter supporting passage of the Civil Access to Justice Act (S.718 / H.R. 3764). The legislation was introduced last year to reauthorize the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and expand access to civil legal aid.
The letter was sent to every Member of Congress and hopefully such clear support will help motivate lawmakers to prioritize the measure and move it quickly through committee. The number of co-sponsors continues to increase with twenty in the Senate and twenty-three in the House.
The most problematic restrictions on LSC grantees remain those that prevent the use of non-federal funds to advocate on behalf of the neediest of our communities. The Civil Access to Justice Act would expand access to justice to low-income populations by lifting those restrictions and helping to ensure that federally funded legal services providers are able to assist their clients in the most effective way possible.
The letter states; "Severely underfunded, LSC reports that more than half of all eligible clients who seek legal help from LSC-funded programs are turned away due to insufficient resources. Additionally, LSC-funded programs’ ability to help their clients is hampered by outdated restrictions, imposed in the mid-1990s."back to Blog