President Biden Issues Memorandum Restoring the DOJ Access-to-Justice Function and Reinvigorating the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable
President Biden signed a Presidential Memorandum on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 that seeks to increase meaningful access to our legal system. It affirms that the United States was founded on the ideal of equal justice under the law, and it states that the government must play a vital role in promoting access to our legal system and supporting civil legal aid providers and public defenders.
President Biden’s discretionary budget request called for $1.5 billion in grant funding for state and local criminal justice systems, including investing in public defenders, and also improving access to counsel in civil and criminal proceedings.
Specifically, President Biden is directing the following actions:
The Attorney General will, within 120 days, submit a plan to expand the Department of Justice’s Access to Justice work. President Biden is directing Attorney General Garland to submit a report to the President within 120 days that outlines the Department’s plan to expand its access to justice work.
The Biden-Harris Administration will re-establish the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable to prioritize civil legal aid and expand access to federal programs. The Biden-Harris Administration is re-committing to the mission of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable, which was initially established in 2015 to raise federal agencies’ awareness of how civil legal aid could increase employment, family stability, housing security, consumer protection, and public safety.
For more information, read the fact sheet issued prior to the release of the memoradum.
You can also check out the Presidential Memorandum.