What Will Justice Alito Mean for the ADA?

A number of democrats in the United States Senate continue to issue threats that they will vote not to confirm Samuel Alito, President Bush’s most recent nominee to the United States Supreme Court. These democrats, along with certain special interest groups, fear that Alito would impair the rights of persons with disabilities. In fact, ADA Watch, a national coalition of disability rights advocates, recently sent a letter to Senators Specter and Leahy, outlining their opposition to Alito. In the letter, the group warns that Alito has authored opinions that question Congress’ authority to pass legislation such as the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other similar legislation. While both supporters and opponents of Alito can only speculate as to what Alito would do in any future case, it would be a welcomed addition to the Court to have a Justice who understands that Congress has limited powers to regulate employment matters, especially as they relate to public employers.

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