Law: The Return of Unequal Justice?

Hard times and the White House squeeze poverty lawyers

In a series of landmark cases that began with Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963), the Supreme Court ruled that any criminal facing a possible jail sentence was entitled to have an attorney. At the same time, Lyndon Johnson's Great Society Administration began to provide millions of dollars to set up local legal services programs to handle such civil court problems of the poor as evictions, consumer complaints and fights with bureaucracies. Over the next decade and a half, the increasing commitment of Government to provide lawyers for the poor led some to note with...

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