Fix the Court has joined more than two dozen pro-transparency organizations in sending a thank-you note to Reps. Hank Johnson and Doug Collins for leading the effort to pass the Open Courts Act, which they accomplished earlier this week.
The bill was drafted by Johnson and Collins after years of hearings and input from a host of stakeholders, and it received support across the political spectrum. That bipartisanship made passing the bill “on suspension” – i.e., via a procedure that requires a two-thirds majority to pass – an easy call.
No roll call vote was recorded as the bill passed Tuesday by voice vote.
That said, the bill was not without its detractors in the traditionally tech-averse federal judiciary, which lobbied against the bill up until the final vote. But as the authors of the thank-you note wrote, “We were confident that you would not be intimidated [by the judiciary’s lobbying], and you were not.”
Though a similar “free PACER” bill was introduced in the Senate on Wednesday, we don’t believe there is enough time between now and the end of the congressional session to pass the Senate bill and work out the differences between the House and Senate versions.
Links to all of the recent pro-Open Courts Act letters sent by organizations (like Fix the Court) and individuals (like former federal judges and government IT specialists) can be found on this page.