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Three National Bar Presidents Issue Unified Call For Judicial Funding

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Date: 3/4/2013

The respective leaders of the American Association for Justice, the American Bar Association, and DRI — The Voice of the Defense Bar warned in a joint statement released today that imminent budget cuts through sequestration will impinge access to justice at the state and federal levels and put court petitioners, staff and judges in harm’s way.

“The federal judiciary and every individual and business that depends on our courts will bear the burden for congressional deadlock through costly delays” said the presidents of the three justice organizations.

“The unity of our three organizations, the major bar organizations in the United State, indicates the true seriousness of the threat to timely access to justice for individuals and businesses,” said DRI president Massaron Ross.

The three presidents warned that sequestration is doubly troubling for state courts, which have “endured years of withering cuts despite overwhelming caseloads.”

Additionally, recent gun violence on court grounds across the country — including Alabama, Delaware, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas — is a chilling reminder of the life-and-death importance of courthouse safety.  “Yet sequestration will leave federal court security positions unfunded” and also reduce the pool of available resources at the state level, according to the legal organizations. 

The three presidents closed by appealing to policymakers to provide adequate funding for federal and state judiciaries.

“Access to justice is a promise that would be too costly for our country to deny.”The statement is signed by DRI president Mary Massaron Ross, ABA president Lauren Bellows, and AAJ president Mary Alice McLarty.

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