Funding LSC helps to foster the principle that access to the courts is an essential element of the rule of law, the bedrock of our Republic.
Op-Ed Father Pius Pietrzyk
March 31, 2017
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Funding: Federal
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
Most importantly, we have seen increased cooperation between LSC and its Office of Inspector General. In fact, I would put the effectiveness of LSC’s oversight up against any federal agency. LSC can say today, better than it ever has, that its funds are being spent according to the will of Congress.
Some argue that the LSC should be eliminated not because it is ineffective or ideological, but because legal services ought to be a state issue. I am very sympathetic to this argument, as I believe strongly in the principle of subsidiarity and its American expression in federalism. The problem is that we are not dealing with a clean slate. The LSC is the largest national funder of civil legal services to the poor. In 2015 alone, LSC’s grantees closed more than 750,000 cases. LSC’s elimination would leave an immense gap, which would have a pronounced impact on an already overloaded court system as it would be swamped with self-represented litigants. More than that, LSC’s grant structure is a model of cooperation between the federal and state funding providers. LSC’s involvement in civil legal aid has promoted, not lessened, state involvement.