New to the art form? This Wall Street Journal article will get you orientated. Also, for more information on how some of these titles mislead lawmakers and the citizenry, find some academic commentary from Brian Christopher Jones here:

Monday, May 5, 2014

An Open Book for Justice

The House Judiciary Committee has recently marked-up Rep. Cynthia Lummins's (R., WY) H.R. 2919, the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act.  Essentially the proposal amends the Equal Access to Justice Act, and would track the fees, administrative costs and other awards of those engaged in litigation with the United States (a feature of the original law that was eliminated by Congress in 1995). It would also require annual reports to Congress. 

A partial press release is noted below. 


Lummis, Cohen Draft Bill to Track Equal Access to Justice Act Payments

Bipartisan legislation restarts agency tracking obligations; modernizes record-keeping with online database.

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Washington, Aug 1, 2013 | Christine D'Amico ((202) 225-2311) 0 comments

U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced legislation today, called the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act, to reinstate tracking and reporting requirements of payments made under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). ...

EAJA, initially passed in 1980, is funded by a permanent appropriation.  Payments of attorney’s fees and costs occur regardless of any annual spending decisions made by Congress.  To maintain its oversight responsibilities, Congress included a requirement that agencies and the Department of Justice issue annual reports on the amount of money paid out under the law.  Congress ended those tracking and reporting requirements in 1995.

The Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act requires every federal agency to begin tracking EAJA payments again, and tasks the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) with compiling that data.  ACUS is also required to submit an annual report to Congress, and to establish an online searchable database that will allow the public access to how much has been paid from EAJA, from which agencies, and to whom taxpayer dollars are being paid. ...

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