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No free PACER as U.S. lawmakers exclude proposal from spending bill

Reuters: “U.S. lawmakers have left a proposal to make the federal judiciary’s PACER online court records system free out of a sprawling, $1.66 trillion spending measure unveiled on Tuesday, a setback for advocates as the current Congress nears its end. Supporters of the Open Courts Act had been pushing to get the stalled, bipartisan legislation attached to the omnibus spending measure, which boosts overall spending on the judiciary by nearly 6% to $8.461 billion in fiscal year 2023…The Open Courts Act would make electronic court records freely available and mandate the judiciary to develop a new website to access them. It had already advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote in December 2021…But the PACER bill was ultimately left out of the 4,155-page omnibus spending measure that Democratic and Republican negotiators released on Tuesday morning, leaving its path to passage in the current Congress unlikely…”

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