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Midyear Meeting

ABA President Calls for Nationwide Law Day Press Conferences on Court Funding

Posted Feb 6, 2012 11:47 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III
Photo by Kathy Anderson

ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III has focused on state court funding problems throughout his presidency, and he continued to hammer home his points during a meeting of the ABA House of Delegates on Monday.

“We need to educate the public, we need to address business leaders and especially legislators about the disastrous path we are on,” he said.

Robinson said that as the crisis unfolded, 42 states have reduced court budgets, 34 reduced staff, 39 stopped filling clerk vacancies, and 23 reduced courthouse operating hours.

The ABA has sent hundreds of kits to state and local bars across the country to help them make decisions about ways to lobby for better court funding. They include videos highlighting the problems, statistics and sample editorials, he said.

To help bring greater awareness to the court funding issue, the ABA has established its Law Day theme as “no courts, no justice, no freedom,” Robinson said. The goal is to spur rallies and press conferences on the steps of every state capitol on Law Day to speak out on the need for court funding.

“An adequately funded independent court system is the key to constitutional democracy, and constitutional democracy is the key to freedom,” Robinson said.

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