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May 2017 Issue


This Month's Articles

ABA urges Homeland Security Department to modify procedures for searching lawyers’ electronic devices at U.S. border crossings

ABA President Linda A. Klein urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take steps to ensure that proper policies and procedures are in place during border crossings to prevent the erosion of important legal principles. In a May 5 letter to DHS Secretary John Kelly and Acting General Counsel Joseph Maher, Klein expressed serious concerns about standards that permit U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to search and review the content of lawyers’ laptop computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices at U.S. border crossings without any showing of reasonable suspicion.

ABA Day in Washington draws over 400 attendees for meetings on Capitol Hill

ABA Day in Washington, the association’s annual lobby day coordinated by the Governmental Affairs Office, drew over 400 bar leaders to Washington, D.C., April 25-27 to meet with their members of Congress. The event ─ attended this year by participants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands ─ is an opportunity for ABA members to convey the association’s views on priority issues of importance to the legal profession.

Omnibus FY 2017 funding bill averts shutdown

President Trump signed legislation May 5 that extends funding for the federal government through the Sept. 30 end of fiscal year 2017, continuing most programs at their fiscal year 2016 funding levels. The new law, P.L. 115-31 (H.R. 244), maintains LSC funding at $385 million and provides an increase to $481.5 million for grant programs under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that includes a $1 million increase to $5 million for the VAWA elder abuse grants.

ABA president urges funding panels to approve $450 million for LSC in fiscal year 2018

ABA President Linda A. Klein has recommended to House and Senate appropriations subcommittees that Congress approve $450 million for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct. 1, 2017. The $450 million funding level would be a $65 million increase over the corporation’s current appropriation of $385 million and would allow LSC-funded offices around the country to continue to provide civil legal services to low-income Americans.

Washington News Briefs

About the Washington Letter

The ABA Washington Letter is a monthly publication produced by the Governmental Affairs Office to report and analyze congressional and executive branch action on legislative issues of interest to the ABA and the legal profession. The newsletter highlights ABA involvement in the federal legislative process and focuses on the association's legislative and governmental priorities and other issues on which the ABA has policy.

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