At the time the Commission heard testimony on the ADA, the Supreme Court had given limited direction on the ADA.
Indeed, in the eight years since the ADAs passage until the time the Commission requested testimony on the ADA, the Supreme Court only decided two cases.
Rather than leaving that vestige intact and with illusory vitality, it is best to declare its day done.” Though some states have taken steps to eliminate outdated language in their constitutions reflecting unjustified stereotypes against people with developmental disabilities, others have resisted.
New Jersey in 2007 eliminated by a referendum voting restrictions on “idiots or insane persons.” failed to pass.
is timely and significant because it comes during the nations designated month for recognizing individuals with disabilities and as we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
ADA is the most comprehensive federal civil-rights statute protecting people with disabilities.What kind of a message are we sending our fellow-citizens with disabilities if we retain such language in our State’s Constitution?American Bar Association Recommendation: In 2007, the American Bar Association, made the following recommendation [Symposium: Facilitating Voting as People Age: Implications of Cognitive Impairment.] State Constitutions and statutes that permit exclusion of a person from voting on the basis of mental incapacity, including guardianship and election laws, should explicitly state that the right to vote is retained, except by court order where the following criteria must be met: (1) The exclusion is based on a determination by a court of competent jurisdiction; (2) Appropriate due process protections have been afforded; (3) The court finds that the person cannot communicate, with or without accommodations, a specific desire to participate in the voting process; and (4) The findings are established by clear and convincing evidence.According to the DSM 5, PTSD is a trauma- and stressor-related disorder caused by an individual’s exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one or more of the following ways: The disturbance, regardless of its trigger, causes clinically significant distress or impairment in the individual’s social interactions, capacity to work or other important areas of functioning.It is not the physiological result of another medical condition, medication, drugs or alcohol (APA, 2013).While exposure to a traumatic event is not uncommon, 7 - 8% of the American population will develop PTSD at some point in their lives.About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year.By design, ADA is expected to interface with a host of existing and future laws.In passing ADA (Public Law 101-336) in 1990, Congress recognized that millions of Americans with disabilities have been isolated and segregated; faced restrictions and limitations; occupied an inferior status; and have been seriously disadvantaged.The Presidential Commission on Election Administration was established by Executive Order in March 23, 2013. Michael Ellement, Enfranchising Persons with Disabilities: Continuing Problems, an Old Statute, and A New Litigation Strategy, (May 13, 2013).The Commission identifies best practices regrading voting accessibility and makes recommendations to improve the experiences of voters with disabilities. Brescia, Modernizing State Voting Laws That Disenfranchise the Mentally Disabled with the Aid of Past Suffrage Movements, 54 St. Available at SSRN: or Kathleen Harris, Guardianship Reform, 79 Michigan Bar Journal, 1658 (2000) (This is a bit older and mostly specific to Michigan) Sally Balch Hurme and Paul S. Commission on Civil Rights publication, Chapter One (2000).