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Disability Groups Oppose Boyle's Nomination To Appeals Court
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 1, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC--Disability rights advocates are joining other civil rights groups in opposing the nomination of Federal District Judge Terrence Boyle to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold confirmation hearings this week on Boyle's nomination and that of two other federal judges.

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law last week issued an alert asking disability advocates to demand that Senators vote against Boyle's confirmation because of his past record on disability issues.

One example is Boyle's ruling in the case of Tennessee v. George Lane, in which he said that Congress overstepped its legal authority when it had certain provisions of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act apply to states. His decision was later overturned by the appeals court for which he is being nominated. The U.S. Supreme Court last spring agreed with the appeals court.

"A Boyle confirmation would relegate disability to the dark ages of the early 20th century, when access to public facilities was not a recognized right," Herb Levine, executive director of the Independent Living Resource Center in San Francisco, wrote in an opinion piece for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Civil rights groups also note that an unusually high number of Boyle's rulings have been overturned by higher courts, and suggest he is not competent to handle the post.

During the first George W. Bush administration, disability groups aggressively fought the confirmation of Bill Pryor, a nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta, and Jeffrey Sutton, who was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Both Pryor and Sutton had opposed the ADA in important disability discrimination cases.

"Disabling the ADA, one nominee at a time" by Herb Levine (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Get Steamed Over Boyle!" (Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law)
"Civil rights groups mobilize against judicial nominee" (Knight Ridder Newspapers)


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