Forwarded from Ravi Maholtra

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Aug 30 14:41:08 MDT 2000


If you could please let any/all of your vast contacts know about the
following disability rights march, I would be most grateful.  ADA is in a
lot of trouble and we need solidarity, a la Roe v. Wade, to pressure the US
Supreme Court.  This has already appeared (or will shortly according to
McReynolds himself!)  apparently on the Socialist Party's email list but I
am sure you have tons of other contacts.  Further information can be found

Here's the full article from

The Court that honored our ADA last year may take it away this fall

Attorney Steve Gold addresses rally for the ADA on May 12, 1999.

There are two smart things you can do to change this bad news to good.

While we spend this summer celebrating the ADA's anniversary, that same
civil rights law could be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court this

The Court in the case of Garrett v University of Alabama will answer this
critical question: Did Congress overstep its authority when it passed the
ADA? Arguments will likely be heard in October, with a decision issued in
early 2001. If the Court rules against us, it could be a major step on the
road to gutting the ADA. Recent Court cases on states rights -- and this is
another -- have not been in our favor. Garrett is a direct attack on our
civil rights.

Right now we can build our legal case and send a political message --
"Don't mess with the ADA!" You can prevent the Attorney General in your
state from signing onto Hawaii's amicus brief against the ADA. Minnesota's
AG is writing a pro-ADA amicus brief. That's the one we want states to sign
onto. As we learned last year with Olmstead, states CAN take their names
off the Hawaii brief even after the Court has heard the case.

The sky is falling again in Garrett v. U. of Alabama

At issue in the Garrett case is whether Congress had the constitutional
authority under the Fourteenth Amendment to enact the ADA. If the Supreme
Court says it did not, individuals (such as L.C. and E.W. in the Olmstead
case) may no longer enforce Titles I and II against states. The Olmstead
decision would be lost, and unenforceable. Recently the Court held, in
Kimel v. Florida, that Congress had no authority to apply the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act to the states. The Court called the ADEA
"disproportionate" and an "unwarranted response to a perhaps
inconsequential problem." If states-rights advocates win this case, states
would no longer be required to make their buildings, schools, courtrooms
and services accessible. States could also refuse to hire or provide
reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities.

What to do about it

1. Get your state's attorney general to sign onto Minnesota's amicus brief
in the Garrett case. Start by calling his or her office and talking with
the public servants he or she employs. When you get an answer on where that
office stands, organize from there to support or resist your state's stance.

2 . Promote the October 2nd Freedom March and Rally in DC. This is being
coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
and has a host of national groups working to make it successful.  The
Supreme Court session opens on October 2nd and they will hear the Garrett
case soon after.  The disability community needs to show its support for
the ADA on October 2nd. Bob Kafka and others believe that we should shoot
for 50,000 people with disabilities in DC. This is only an average of 1,000
people per state.

Rallies and marches in and of themselves won't save the ADA but it would be
a show of power and energize people as we go back to our respective states.
Your support would be appreciated.  See you on the 2nd!!

Louis Proyect
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