Legal Services Corp. v. Velazquez

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Legal Services Corp. v. Velazquez
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Citation
Date decided February 28, 2001

Facts

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was created by Congress in 1974. It is a non-profit organization to provide legal aid to low-income people.

LSC gives funds to other private non-profit organizations that provide legal assistance to indigent customers. LSC hands out funds for non-criminal legal assistance seekers.

Velazquez (plaintiff) was a woman who lost her welfare benefits in 1997.

Procedural History

Legal Services Corp. was sued by Velazquez in the Eastern district of New York (federal court) because of the conditions attached to receiving funds for legal aid.

The federal district court denied injunctive relief to Velazquez.

Issues

Can a string be attached to recipients of LSC-funds to prevent litigation challenging existing U.S. welfare laws?

Is the First Amendment violated if the government doesn't want recipients of legal aid to legally contest existing laws?

Holding

The 1st Amendment rights of recipients of funds from LSC were violated.

Rule

Doctrine of unconstitutional conditions.

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