A Washington Post editorial on Saturday called the work done by legal aid organizations “essential,” congratulated Congress for boosting the funding for the Legal Services Corp. and called for the lifting of federal restrictions on grantees such as Maryland Legal Aid.
“Lawmakers should … unshackle Legal Services from congressionally imposed restrictions that have kept it from working more efficiently and broadly,” the editorial urged. “For example, unlike most others who represent plaintiffs, Legal Services lawyers who prevail in a civil case are prohibited from seeking legal fees from an opponent. This makes no sense, especially because any recovery of fees could supplement the group’s funding.
“Legal Services is also barred from using public or private funds to engage in a range of activities, including all class-action lawsuits, any representation of immigrants who are in the country illegally and all litigation involving abortion-related matters,” the editorial continued. “While some limits on the use of taxpayer dollars may be appropriate, none should limit what local legal-aid clinics can do with money they raise privately.”
To read the editorial, click here.