Don’t turn our backs on justice for all

The White House wants to defund legal aid services that help millions of Americans. That would be costly — and wrong.

Op-Ed (Minnesota, NATIONAL)

Walter Mondale, Linda Klein
Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)
July 7, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


Access to justice is a fundamental principle upon which our country was founded. The phrase “Equal Justice Under Law” is engraved on the front of the U.S. Supreme Court building. “Equal protection of the laws” is mandated by the Constitution. Our Pledge of Allegiance ends with the promise of “liberty and justice for all.”

Yet, many people across America and here in Minnesota lack the resources to protect their rights and liberties in our complex legal system. Take Champlin resident Francine Siegfried, for example. Francine was nearly stabbed to death by her ex-husband when he came to pick up the children for a visitation. He was arrested, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sent to prison. Now he is seeking more contact with the children and access to their medical providers, and Francine can’t afford an attorney to help keep the man who tried to kill her away from her kids.