The Biden agenda for poor, minorities; will improve legal services
The Biden agenda for poor, minorities; will  improve legal services

Joe Biden is going to build our country back better taking executive action Tuesday to ensure minorities, low-income Americans and others have better access to quality legal representation after services dwindled during the Trump administration.

Biden will sign a memorandum directing the Department of Justice to restore key functions of the shuttered Access to Justice Office and to reestablish the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable.

The plans are laid out in a presidential memo first shared with The Associated Press. A White House official told the AP that Biden was directing the roundtable to examine the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on access to justice in both civil and criminal matters.

The pandemic “has further exposed and exacerbated inequities in our justice system” as legal services were curtailed, Biden wrote. He added that the problems ''have touched the lives of many persons in this country, particularly low-income people and people of color.”

Civil rights organizations and leaders have been pressing the Biden administration to reestablish the Access to Justice Office and its work. The memo doesn't explicitly reopen the office but requires Attorney General Merrick Garland to submit a plan within 120 days to expand work on access to justice.

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