How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TJ, Esq. Your Own Question
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12064
Experience:  JD, MBA
9373668
Type Your Legal Question Here...
TJ, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Constitutionally, how can a US state or a county provide to

Customer Question

Constitutionally, how can a US state or a county provide to lawyers and not to the rest of the public, a (government-run) annual subscription pay service by which the subscriber can on-line access, copy and print (for themselves) Court documents (that are of-record at the Prothonotary's office)?. Court documents are available to the public, only on-site, during office hours, and at a cost of 50 cents per page.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I meant to write:
Court documents are available to the (non-subscription) public, only on-site, during office hours, and at a cost of 50 cents per page.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

If the service were only offered to whites, or Christians, or men then that would be unconstitutional. The reason is that race, religion and gender are protected classes (there are others as well ... those are just examples). But a person's status as a lawyer or non-lawyer is not a protected class. That means the government can discriminate against lawyers or non-lawyers so long as the discrimination is rationally related to a legitimate government interest. This is called the Rational Basis Test. If you were to challenge the constitutionality of the law/rule regarding the service that is available only to lawyers, then all the government would have to prove is that its reasoning is rationally related to a legitimate government interest. This is such a low threshold, that almost anything will do. For example, they'd probably win by just showing that they don't have the budget to maintain a busier system (of course, I don't know if that's their real reason ... I just made that up, but it's a possibility).

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But we are talking about the Court system here. How can there be equal justice if there is not equal access?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again.

I understand what you're saying. It's something to complain about to your legislature. The legislature can certainly pass a law that allows equal access to non-lawyers. But from a Constitutional level, as stated above, it's not considered unconstitutional to treat lawyers and non-lawyers differently if the reason is rationally related to a legitimate government interest.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if you need further clarification, and please remember to provide positive feedback. Thank you.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue. If not, then please remember to provide a positive rating to close out this question (and please remember that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so I greatly appreciate it). Thank you!