A co-sponsor of the Justice for Troops Act, Graham is a champion for active duty service members who often face hurdles obtaining legal help in areas including family law, medical care, reemployment, disability benefits and housing. This legislation authorizes the Department of Defense to provide support for any programs that connect servicemembers in need of civil legal assistance with attorneys offering such assistance pro bono, while also supporting outreach to judge advocate general offices on military bases across the country to increase awareness of this service.
The ABA has a longstanding commitment to assist with the legal needs of servicemembers, which include securing medical care, disability benefits, re-employment, consumer needs, housing, criminal justice issues and family law matters. The association has created a host of programs, projects, initiatives and services to aid veterans. The ABA Military Pro Bono Project and ABA Home Front provide legal resources for military families. The ABA Young Lawyers Division has launched Project Salute: Young Lawyers Serving Veterans, a year-long mission to inform veterans about their rights and assist them with obtaining benefits via legal clinics throughout the nation.
“As both an appropriator and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Graham is a tireless advocate for servicemembers and veterans. We are pleased to recognize his commitment to our soldiers,” said Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, ABA president.
Graham is also a supporter of priority ABA issues. Graham’s commitment to the Fair Sentencing Act, which reformed the 100-to-1 crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity, was crucial to the act’s passage. Graham is also an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan Crime Victim Restitution and Court Fee Intercept Act, which would enable the collection of court-ordered financial obligations.
Graham will receive one of the six ABA Congressional Justice Awards that will be given as part of the ABA’s annual effort to connect policymakers with constituents in the legal profession. ABA Day 2012 brings distinguished lawyers from 50 states to Washington, D.C., to discuss issues such as funding for the Legal Services Corporation, the Violence Against Women Act, and the collection of overdue state court-ordered fees.
Other recipients of the 2012 ABA Congressional Justice Award include Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD-7th), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY-5th).
– 30 –