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The New Supremes, The Future ADA

Law prof Samuel Bagenstos last week posted an entry on his Disability Law blog that I hope a lot of folks will read. He was looking at what the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito might mean for disability rights. And all this week, he and Ruth O'Brien are debating the future of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Enough with all the yelling about how awful Alito will be, Bagenstos seems to be saying. We've got Alito now.

And that's true -- while you want to do what you can to influence whether somebody gets onto the Court -- and to make a public statement -- now we've moved into a different mode.

Bagenstos reminds us that it's

hard to extrapolate from a judge's conduct on a lower court to project that judge's conduct on the Supreme Court. Justice Alito now has a degree of freedom that he did not have when he was a judge on the Third Circuit. The question is how he will use it.

Yes, that's the question.

Bagenstos also reminds us that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whom Alito replaces, was no great friend of disability rights. I found his views a useful tool for thinking about the future. Read his entry here.

Speaking of thoughts about the future, on Monday Legal Affairs Magazine's website launched a debate between Bagenstos and Ruth O'Brien, Professor of Government at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and author of "Voices From The Edge: Narratives about the Americans with Disabilities Act." Read the opening volleys in their debate, Is The ADA Expanding? It's pretty interesting stuff -- not dry at all. I think the thing's going to keep on all week. Click on the link later on and find out.