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Disability Advocates Launch Campaign Against Alito Supreme Court Appointment
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 14, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC--A coalition of disability rights advocates on Wednesday announced their opposition to President Bush's nomination of Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The coalition includes ADA Watch/National Coalition for Disability Rights, Alliance of Disability Advocates, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, National Council on Independent Living, World Association of People with Disabilities, and others.

Advocates are worried that Alito's appointment would negatively impact how the high court rules on issues that are important to Americans that have disabilities, considering what the Bazelon Center called his "long and troubling" record on disability cases.

The groups are particularly concerned that Alito would be replacing Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been the deciding vote in a number of close votes on the high court, both strengthening and weakening the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other disability rights laws.

Based on Alito's 15-year history on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the Bazelon Center predicted that, if he were confirmed to the Supreme Court, he would restrict Congress' power to enact disability rights laws, along with restricting enforcement of those rights.

In one case, ADAPT v. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Alito joined a decision which prevented people with disabilities and the disability rights group ADAPT from suing HUD for failing to enforce housing accessibility laws.

The ADA Watch website has suggestions on how advocates can express opposition to Alito's appointment.

"Disability Organizations to Announce Opposition to Judge Samuel Alito" (U.S. NewsWire)
"A Threat to People with Disabilities" (Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law)
"A 'special chair' for Jayne Nathanson" (Ragged Edge Magazine)
"In workplace cases, Alito usually sided with employer" (Star Tribune)
"Group Launches Road Campaign To Oppose Alito Nomination" (Associated Press via WLBZ)
"Action Center: Say "No" on Judge Alito" (ADA Watch)


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