August 9, 2020
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The Trump administration shut down the Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice in 2018. All it took to unravel the small, nonprosecutorial unit that the Obama administration had created in 2010 was a notice to Congress and some tweaks to department websites. Now, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic coincides with a nationwide racial justice movement, lawmakers are trying to reopen the office, which provided national leadership on issues like indigent defense, excessive fines and fees, juvenile justice, legal aid funding and more.