Courts: Getting the Feds to Pay

As the cost of living continues to rise, the price of a good lawyer continues to soar — so much that equal justice is still an empty platitude for the 60% of criminal defendants who cannot afford even a bad counsel. State courts are now trying the remedy of paid public defendants. But federal courts are still without the means to pay even court-appointed lawyers. Last week a U.S. district judge in Oregon blasted this anomaly with a broad-gauged decision that may not only cost Washington a great deal of money, but may be the neatest constitutional argument of the...

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