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For over one hundred years, some of our country's most dedicated
lawyers have struggled to provide legal services to poor people.
The road has not been an easy one. Richard Nixon vetoed a
legal services bill over the issue of presidential appointments, then
signed the Legal Services Corporation Act just before resigning.
Nixon's Vice-President, Spiro Agnew, was a vocal opponent of federally-
funded legal services. Ronald Reagan submitted eight consecutive
budgets seeking to eliminate all federal funding for the
Legal Services Corporation ("LSC"). Simultaneously, he appointed
a hostile LSC board of directors. Bill Clinton's election,
however, brought new hope to advocates. Hillary Clinton is a former
president of the LSC Board. The early Clinton budgets included
an increase in LSC funding, but they were countered
dramatically by the severe cuts and restrictions imposed by the
1994 Republican-controlled Congress.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Legal Services Corporation, legal aid, poverty