June 8, 2020
Dear Executive Directors,
The events of the past few weeks have highlighted the critical nature of our work to promote equal access to justice for all people in our nation. Many of you are communicating with your staff, your clients, and your communities about the concerns and the deep commitment to justice felt so strongly by yourselves and your organizations. Some of you have asked about doing so consistent with the LSC restrictions on lobbying and political activities.
Most simply put, the LSC restrictions apply to efforts to change or enact government policies or to support or oppose candidates for elected office. These rules do not restrict your ability to express support for individual rights or concerns about government actions under existing laws.
As an example, please see this statement issued by Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Maine.
Please see the following webpage for more information about the restrictions on lobbying and political activities.
- Part 1608 prohibits grantees from engaging in any political activity involving support for or opposition to candidates for public office, ballot measures, or political parties.
- Part 1612 restricts grantees from lobbying, which is any attempt to influence government decision making through statements about what actions the government should or should not take for enacting, changing, or removing legislation, rules, ballot initiatives, or other covered government actions. They do not prohibit providing information about the services you provide, the operation of existing laws and rules, and the possible effects of changes to those laws and rules.
- Part 1612 also prohibits grassroots lobbying such as encouraging others to directly lobby government officials.
Please contact Mark Freedman, Senior Associate General Counsel, at email@example.com or 202-295-1623 with any questions about these rules.
Ronald S. Flagg
Legal Services Corporation
3333 K Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007