Legal Aid is a nonprofit, public interest law firm that provides free legal services to low-income Arkansans with civil legal problems across 31 counties.
There are many ways to get involved. With your help, we can make a difference.
Terry Davis-Lowell, a courtroom translator, translates Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, for a defendant during Springdale District Court proceedings as bailiff Chris Moist of the Springdale Police Department stands by in Judge Jeff Harper's court in the Springdale city administration building. Davis-Lowell provides Marshallese and English translation for defendants and courtroom officials on Wednesdays. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT UPDATE: Arkansas Supreme Court Denied our Emergency Request to Speed up its Consideration of the State's Appeal of Judge Herb Wright's Order
The Arkansas Supreme Court denied our emergency request to speed up its consideration of the state's appeal of Judge Herb Wright's order to restart the federal unemployment benefits. Last week, the Supreme Court put the judge's order on hold while the appeal is pending. Based on the usual timeframes, the Supreme Court will probably not decide the case before December, and it could be well into 2022 before a decision is made.
In the meanwhile, the 70,000 Arkansans who would otherwise be entitled to these benefits will not have them. At Legal Aid, we know the hardship this means for our clients struggling to pay rent, have enough food, get medical care, and meet life's basic needs in the midst of a raging pandemic. We will continue to fight on behalf of our five plaintiffs. The next challenge ahead is that Governor Hutchinson and the Division of Workforce Services will try to have the case dismissed as "moot" because the law passed last week by the General Assembly tries to change the law that is the basis for our lawsuit. But, we won't give up the fight or the hope.
If anyone has a legal issue (other than wanting to join the lawsuit--that isn't possible right now), you are welcome to call our Helpline at 800-952-9243.
Kevin De Liban, the director of advocacy for Legal Aid of Arkansas, said there’s still a chance that the 69,000 Arkansans who lost 10 weeks of federal COVID unemployment benefits could still access some of that money eventually.