Press Release

Rep. Cuellar, Chief Justice Hecht Defend Legal Services Corporation from Trump Budget Cuts

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Washington, May 24, 2017 | Victoria Glynn | comments

Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) was joined by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas Nathan Hecht in expressing concern at President Trump’s proposed elimination of the non-profit Legal Services Corporation today.

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent, non-profit established by Congress to provide low-income Americans with legal aid in civil matters. They provide funding to more than 100 legal aid organizations in communities across the United States, including three in Texas.

President Trump’s budget proposal would give LSC – which was funded at $384 million in the 2017 fiscal year – only $33 million for the 2018 fiscal year, a token amount just enough for the organization to shut itself down.

“Our nation was founded on the principle of ‘justice for all,’” explain Congressman Cuellar. “The Legal Services Corporation helps us live up to that standard, providing essential legal services to poor and low-income Americans. I saw that firsthand when I was a law student interning for LSC. Their grantees help victims of domestic violence get restraining orders, homeless veterans get the benefits they have earned, and vulnerable seniors protect themselves from financial scams. President Trump wants to eliminate these programs in every state, including Texas. That means only those who can afford to hire a private attorney will be able to access our legal system. As an attorney myself, I know: that is not justice. I hope all my colleagues in Congress join me in defending the LSC.”

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas Nathan Hecht said, “The support provided by the Legal Services Corporation to legal service providers throughout the country is the backbone for efforts to assure access to justice for the poor and vulnerable among us. Justice for only those who can afford it is neither justice for all nor justice at all.”

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