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Thursday, October 5, 2023

ADA Test Case Moot?

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

Kelsey Reichmann at Courthouse News Service:
The Supreme Court’s review of how disability accommodations are enforced throughout the country appeared to be dead on arrival Wednesday.

“This is like dead, dead, dead in all the ways it can be dead,” Justice Elena Kagan said.

The Barack Obama appointee added what the high court was being asked to do felt unjudicial.

“It doesn’t seem like something a court should do,” Kagan said.

Justice Samuel Alito had a similar view of the case, characterizing it as “dead as a door nail,” and suggesting a ruling in the case should be classified as an advisory opinion.

The case that might not be a case before the court on Wednesday concerns Deborah Laufer’s claim that Acheson Hotels violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide accommodations information on its website. The merits of that argument were far from the justices’ concern, though, as the heart of the dispute was if Laufer could bring a suit in the first place.

In the time since the justices took up the case, the hotel updated its website to comply with the ADA and Laufer dismissed her suit against them. Acheson also no longer owns the Maine hotel.

These details left the justices with a dispute where both sides no longer had an interest in the final ruling.