Maxwell: Congress should not cut legal aid to the poor

Op-ed encouraging Congress not to cut federal funding for civil legal aid.

Op-Ed (Florida)

Bill Maxwell
Tampa Bay Times
June 5, 2015
Full story

Tags: Benefits of Legal Aid, Funding: Federal, Legal Needs, Pro Se/Self-Help

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Bay Area Legal Services (Tampa) (BALS)


Low-income Americans face serious challenges in many areas of their lives. Legal representation in court is one of these critical areas because unlike the rest of us, poor people can’t afford lawyers.

Helping the poor get their day in court should be a no-brainer. But it isn’t in today’s ideological minefields in Washington and in statehouses nationwide.


Cutting the budget for legal aid — denying poor citizens recourse to the courts — makes no sense whatsoever. How do we justify such a cynical move when income inequality is widening exponentially? It ill-serves the common good, and it further weakens the legitimacy of our democracy.