Reactions Vary To Supreme Court Decision
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 19, 2004
UNITED STATES--There has been a mix of reactions in the media to Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision in Tennessee v. Lane.
Most opinion pieces have been supportive of the high court's decision which found that individuals can sue states for not providing access to state and local courts.
From an editorial in Wednesday's Northwest Arkansas News: "Don't tell anyone, especially anyone who makes a living in politics or punditry, but the system appears to be working."
From the Christian Science Monitor: "For the first time since the New Deal, a majority of justices were taking a consistent, restrictive view of congressional legislation whenever it infringed on state's rights."
"But a funny thing happened on the way to the high court's federalism revolution - it appears to have hit a speed bump named Sandra Day O'Connor. For the second time in two years, Justice O'Connor has cast a critical swing vote in a major case involving the balance of power between the national and state governments."
The West Virginia Gazette noted that George Lane, the plaintiff for whom the case was named, is not your typical disability rights hero.
"With a string of driving and drug arrests, not to mention a stretch in prison for assault, George Lane has emerged as an unlikely standard-bearer for disabled Americans," the Gazette read.
Mary Johnson, editor of the Ragged Edge Magazine, noted that the high court's decision is not a "slam-dunk".
"Until this nation -- and its judges -- truly understand the nature of disability discrimination, things will continue to be very dicey," she wrote.
Finally, a Denver Post column slammed the court for its decision.
"This week's Supreme Court decision is damaging regardless of what happens," concluded columnist Al Knight. "It has badly tarnished the reputation of the nation's highest court because it shows a quality of decision-making that isn't really much better than what might be achieved by a random drawing."
"Sometimes The System Actually Works" (Northwest Arkansas News)
"States' rights momentum on court may be waning" (Christian Science Monitor)
"Unlikely hero emerges as Supreme Court rules on disability case" (West Virginia Gazette)
"Yes, but... The TN v Lane decision" (Ragged Edge Magazine)
"Court loses way again" (Denver Post)