Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Budget Cuts Leaving The Poor Without Representation

By Julius Kane

Courtrooms across the country are filling up with people who have no legal representation. Programs designed to help those who can't afford a lawyer are cutting services and laying off employees. In some states people are literally being turned away. Due to congressional cuts, Legal Services Corp (LSC), the non profit group that distributes grants among 136 programs with over two hundred million in aid, cut 4% of it's budget earlier this year. Now a proposal has been put forward in Congress to relieve them of another $104 million in 2012.

Legal Services Corp provides legal aid representation in specific civil cases such as custody issues and domestic violence. Only criminal cases are guaranteed representation under the constitution for those who can't afford it. Rep. Frank Wolf who chairs the sub committee who oversees the annual budget told USA TODAY that these cuts were necessary because "....our nation is pushed to the edge of a fiscal cliff." Pundits complain that once again no pork barrel projects are on the table just more attacks on those who are already struggling. So far legal aid has helped tens of thousands of working class homeowners save their houses from foreclosure.
Julius Kane is the author of 'The Fruits of Sarah Bartmaan' and 5 other titles. Visit him at:

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