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The American Bar Association knows the drill. Trying to beat back the repeated attempts over the years to slash funding for the Legal Services Corp. is a familiar exercise. “We’ve fought this battle many times,” said ABA President Stephen Zack.

Since the corporation’s inception in 1974, the ABA has routinely prodded lawmakers to give the nonprofit organization more money. Perhaps the most dramatic effort came in 1994, when then-ABA President George Bushnell described those opposed to federally funding legal services as “reptilian bastards.” The U.S. House of Representatives unsuccessfully called for his resignation.

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