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Legal News
Supreme Court Refuses Similar ADA Case
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 7 page 16-16

As distressing as the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Garrett case was for the disabled and those who favor a broad interpretation of the scope of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the disabled dodged a bullet a few days later that could have taken a far more severe bite out of the ADA.

A week after it decided in favor of states’ rights in the Garrett case, the justices without discussion declined to hear another case involving the right of disabled persons to sue states for ADA violations. In that case, U.S. v. Snyder, an Illinois prison inmate convicted of burglary sued the state in federal court claiming prison officials had failed to make adequate accommodations for his partial blindness as required under the ADA.

A federal appeals court dismissed the case on 11th Amendment grounds, but the U.S. Justice Department stepped in to file an appeal of the dismissal with the Supreme Court. Illinois asked the Court to let the dismissal stand, which it did without comment. Had the High Court heard the case and responded the same way it had in Garrett, it would have more seriously limited the ADA. That’s because the decision would have affected all disabled persons who use state-sponsored programs and services, not just state employees.

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