Logourl black

Legal Services Corp. v. Velazquez

United States Supreme Court
531 U.S. 533 (2001)


Facts

In 1974, Congress enacted the Legal Services Corporation Act (LSCA) establishing the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) (defendant) as a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation. LSC was tasked with distributing funds appropriated by Congress to eligible local grantee organizations for the purpose of providing financial support for legal assistance in non-criminal proceedings or matters to persons financially unable to afford legal assistance. LSC grantees consisted of hundreds of local organizations governed, typically, by local boards of directors. The grantee organizations hired and supervised lawyers to provide free legal services to indigent clients. Some of the grantee organizations used LSC funds to assist in the representation of indigent clients seeking welfare benefits. However, in 1996, Congress passed a law prohibiting LSC funding of any organization that represented clients in an effort to amend or otherwise challenge existing welfare law. Velasquez and other lawyers employed by LSC grantees (plaintiffs) brought suit in federal district court seeking a declaration that the restriction was invalid. The district court denied relief, but the court of appeals reversed on the grounds that the restriction constituted impermissible viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 81,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 11,364 briefs - keyed to 151 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now