WASHINGTON (September 16, 2020)—Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee marked up the Open Courts Act of 2020 . This piece of legislation would make Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) free for the general public.
The Open Courts Act of 2020  will not only provide public access to federal court records, but it will also streamline the federal court’s online record system to make court records easier to find.
Even better, it’s a bipartisan bill, expected to be introduced by Reps. Hank Johnson (D) and Doug Collins (R).
“It’s unconscionable that public federal court records are hidden behind an online paywall. This legislation takes the important step of making all public records accessible, free of charge,” said Anthony Marcum, R Street resident fellow on the Governance Project focused on judicial reform. “This legislation also takes the important step of modernizing how the public can access court records by making it easier to search for federal court records. Gone would be the days of costly, inefficient searches.”
To read more about the Open Courts Act of 2020 and why it is a huge step in the right direction for the judiciary and bipartisanship, check out Anthony Marcum’s blog post, “Congress May Remove a Paywall to Justice .”
- “Open Courts Act of 2020”: https://docs.house.gov/meetings/JU/JU00/20200915/111016/BILLS-116____ih.pdf
- “Congress May Remove a Paywall to Justice”: https://www.rstreet.org/2020/09/15/congress-may-remove-a-paywall-to-justice/