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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Minnesota Congressman Attacked ADA and Blamed It for Workplace Shootings

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the civil rights of people with autism and other disabilities.

Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minnesota) once hosted a radio show, where he attacked the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nathan McDermott, Andrew Kaczynski and Chris Massie at CNN report on a September 2012 broadcast in which he compared the statute to Jim Crow.
"Now the government determines who you shall hire, who you should work next to, and when you're going to be thrown in jail or fined civilly for refusing to employ or serve or do whatever the government says you ought to do," Lewis said. "The irony of this is the last time we tried this was during Jim Crow when the government used to mandate segregation."
Lewis went on to say that the law was one of the worst.
"The economy is stifled under an anarchy of laws of rules; Dodd Frank, Obamacare, the EPA, environmental laws, OSHA, you name it, not to mention antidiscrimination laws, and the ADA is one of the worst."
Later, in the same episode, Lewis continued to criticize the Americans with Disabilities Act, and blamed the law for an increase in workplace shootings.
"Because of the ADA, we have eviscerated the notion of fair play and in the process in these workplace shootings, I have the temerity today, the audacity, to suggest that that is partly responsible for these workplace shootings. In every single instance, the person had a history of mental, mental illness, something set them off and they go bonkers and kill people. So why did we not screen those people out?"
Lewis' comments blaming the law for mass shootings came in response to news of a workplace shooting earlier in the day in Minneapolis that left six people dead.