Sessions rescinds Obama-era letter to local courts on fines and fees for poor defendants
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Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Biden administration should resist 'slush-fund' settlements Garland should oppose Biden effort to reinstate controversial 'slush funds' practice MORE is rescinding an Obama-era letter to local courts advising them to be wary of imposing stiff fees and penalties on poor defendants, The Washington Post reports. 

The move comes as Sessions revokes more than two dozen Justice Department guidance documents going back to the 1990s on various topics, the Post reports.

Sessions said the move would do away with “the long-standing abuse of issuing rules by simply publishing a letter or posting a web page.”

“Congress has provided for a regulatory process in statute, and we are going to follow it,” Sessions said, according to the Post. “This is good government and prevents confusing the public with improper and wrong advice.”


The Obama administration's March 2016 letter to local courts said the department had a "strong interest" in protecting citizens' rights and warned against using the fees to try to raise raise revenues for their jurisdictions.

The letter was addressed to courts and chief judges in every state and came after the White House and Justice Department at the time held a summit on the issue.

At the National Lawyers Convention in November, Sessions said he was directing Justice Department officials to stop putting out guidance documents in an effort to "impose new obligations on any party outside the executive branch."