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February 01, 2006 | Read comments | Post a comment

Principles on Alito

Now that Samuel A. Alito has become the 110th Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, I guess we settle in for the long haul. What next will come before the Court on the disability rights scene? I find a good place to do my "what's up next" cruising is the disability law blog. I really am not sure what's up next; mainly because I haven't been paying close enough attention.

Last week I criticized the American Association of People with Disabilities for what I considered its wanting-to-have-it-both-ways stance on Alito. Today I want to praise two groups who took a principled position publicly, making the case that Alito is going to likely be quite bad for disability rights: Yesterday the Justice For All Listserv posted National Council on Independent Living director John Lancaster's op-ed article: "Persons with disabilities cannot afford another judge on the Supreme Court that cares more about the so-called 'dignity' of the states than about equal opportunity for persons with disabilities to live in the community, obtain an education and pursue a career." Lancaster wrote that it was the first time in NCIL's 24-year history that the group had ever opposed a Supreme Court nomination.

As far as I can tell, no news outlet ran this op-ed. Perhaps it wasn't even sent to newspapers; I'm not sure. In any case, it was too late to expect it to be published. Once the media saw the handwriting on the Senate wall there was no point in trying to get published with any more politicking about Alito. ADAWatch had also sent around an op-ed -- to over 100 newspapers, I understand -- but it too had no takers.

Yesterday, soon as Alito was confirmed, ADAWatch issued a statement: "Core legal rights of people with disabilities - and all Americans - are now in jeopardy as Justice Alito joins a majority that has routinely ruled to undermine Congressional efforts to provide 'justice for all.'"

That seems to be all we can do at this point -- make the statement. And I'm glad that there are some groups doing it.

Posted by mjohnson on February 1, 2006 04:41 AM


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