State Medical Board May Drop ADA Fight
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 26, 2003
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA--This Friday, the Medical Board of California will vote on whether to pull its ADA suit against Michael J. Hason that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.
"It is my belief as Attorney General that the greater public interest of the State of California would be furthered by a withdrawal of the petition for certiorari in this matter," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer wrote to the state medical board last week.
If the board chooses to withdraw its petition for certiorari, the Supreme Court would be prompted to dismiss the case, a ruling on which could further limit people from suing state agencies under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.
Governor Gray Davis has said he "simply will not be party to any lawsuit that could put the Americans with Disabilities Act in jeopardy."
The case involves Michael J. Hason, a doctor who sued the California Medical Board after it refused to grant him a medical license because of his disability.
Hason, who experiences depression, argued that the board should have given him a reasonable accommodation by offering him a probationary license and requiring him to go through therapy. A psychiatrist told the board that Hason should be allowed to practice medicine because he was not a danger to patients.
An appeals court ruled that Hason could sue the state board under the ADA, but the board claimed that a 2001 Supreme Court ruling protects it from suits filed by individuals.
In that ruling, Alabama v. Garrett, the court determined that state workers could not use the ADA to sue their employers for damages.
Four Supreme Court rulings last year further limited the scope of the ADA. The Hason case is considered to have the highest potential for a negative ruling this term.
"CA Atty. Gen., other officials urge state medical board to drop Hason appeal" (Ragged Edge Online)
"University of Alabama vs. Patricia Garrett & Milton Ash" (Inclusion Daily Express)