Monday, September 22, 2008

Congress Expands Protections for Disabled

In an effort to undo recent Supreme Court decisions involving Americans with disabilities, Congress as approved legislation that expands protections for the disabled.

The New York Times reports:

The bill expands the definition of disability and makes it easier for workers to prove discrimination. It explicitly rejects the strict standards used by the Supreme Court to determine who is disabled.

The bill declares that the court went wrong by “eliminating protection for many individuals whom Congress intended to protect” under the 1990 law.

“The Supreme Court misconstrued our intent,” said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the House Democratic leader. “Our intent was to be inclusive.”

In an effort to clarify the intent of Congress, the bill says, “The definition of disability in this act shall be construed in favor of broad coverage.”

Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin, the principal Republican sponsor in the House, said, “Courts have focused too heavily on whether individuals are covered by the law, rather than on whether discrimination occurred.”

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