The House Judicial Committee just came out strongly in favor of the "Free PACER" bill. The quotes are just incredible. We'll put some here....
Nadler: "Judiciary records systems have long lagged behind modern standards of accessibility and openness."

"It is a disservice that in today's digital age the public's access to public records and public proceedings is so resource-intensive and burdensome."
More Nadler: "This does not reflect the modern standards the public deserves"

"it is indfensible that the public must pay fees...to know what is happening in their own courts."
More Nadler: "The PACER paywall also restricts access to justice by increasing the cost of doing the research needed to compentently pursue a case, inhibits innovation of legal services, and [...] reduces judicial transparency and legitimacy of the courts."
More Nadler: "These are sensible and important steps that would bring the judiciary's record system into the modern age."

"Takes a significant step forward in making the federal judiciary more modern, more open, and accessible to the public it serves."
Ranking Member Jordan: "Commonsense reforms contained in the bill are long overdue."

Johnson (bill co-sponsor): "The public has a fundamental right to the public documents in the courthouse, because those documents enable the public to see what justice looks like on paper."
More Johnson: "The prices are like a keep out sign for the little guy."

"It can cost hundreds of dollars to read the filings in one case."

"$100-140M/year is a lot of money taken from people who are exercising their fundamental right to access public court documents."
More Johnson: "It's unconscionable."

"The public will be able to view public documents online for free."
Johnson:"Imposes unnecessary burdens on journalists, academics and pro se litigants as they engage in the constitutionally enshrined activities of observing and reporting on the court's activities"

"This bill is [...] about changing the system so it's fairer to the little guy."
Johnson: "Convenient access to public records in federal courthouses shouldn't be a privilege just for the wealthy few and their silk-stalking, tassle-shoe-wearing corporate lawyers." (!)
Lofgren: "Open access to public documents should be the norm for all parts of government, including judicial."

"Open access should clear the way for deep research to be done by scholars."
Lofgren: "I have every belief that we will see this create a whole new industry in the U.S., and a whole new capacity to understand the judiciary and our laws. "
Stanton: "Meaningful legislation that'll make our courts more accessible to every American."

"You shouldn't have to be a lawyer or law student to access these records. They belong to every American and every person should have equal free access."
Stanton: "Great for our democracy."

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