The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday advanced a bipartisan bill that would make PACER free for the public within a few years, a significant win for transparency advocates.

The Open Courts Act of 2020, introduced Monday by Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.), would give the federal judiciary two to three years to update and modernize its electronic public access program, which hosts the case management and electronic case filing system, CM/ECF and PACER. Included in that upgrade would be a requirement to let users search for records across the system, rather than within each individual court.

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