Case #523.0

The Legal Services Corporation Under the Reagan Administration: The Congress (A)

Publication Date: January 01, 1983
Current Stock:

Educator Access

A review copy of this case is available free of charge to educators and trainers. Please create an account or sign in to gain access to this material.

Permission to Reprint

Each purchase of this product entitles the buyer to one digital file and use. If you intend to distribute, teach, or share this item, you must purchase permission for each individual who will be given access. Learn more about purchasing permission to reprint.

In 1981, the Reagan administration proposed the elimination of the federally-funded Legal Services Corporation (LSC), sparking an intense and ideologically bitter fight in Congress between pro- and anti-LSC forces. Part A gives a brief history of Reagan's gubernatorial experience with Legal Services, explores the case for and against LSC, and follows the battle over LSC's authorization bill in the House, with attention to the roles of the anti-LSC New Right and LSC's independent outside lobbyist-supporters. Part B chronicles the actions of the White House-appointed LSC board in managing the refunded corporation.

Learning Objective:
The purpose of Part A and its sequel is to show how complex ideological disputes boil down in Congress to authorization and appropriation issues, and to sketch the role of legislative tactics and interest groups in the legislative process. The purpose of Part B is to highlight, through an account of a management failure, the importance of personal and political sensitivity in public sector management. The case also shows how the appointment and confirmation process affects how much, and what kind of, power the executive and legislative branches exercise over a body like the LSC.

Other Details

Case Author:
David Kennedy
Faculty Lead:
Philip Heymann
United States
Pages (incl. exhibits):