Holder: Defendant’s Legal Rights Undermined by Budget Cuts

In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Attorney General Eric Holder asserts that forced budget reductions, due largely to sequestration, are undermining defendants’ legal right to an attorney. Holder states that draconian cuts have forced layoffs in the federal public defenders office, furloughs and personnel reductions through attrition. Five decades after the Supreme Court affirmed that adequate legal representation is a basic right in Gideon v. Wainwright, Holder writes that sequestration is undermining our ability to realize this fundamental promise, and it is past time for our elected representatives to act.