On May 19, 2020 Judge Fred Biery of the Western District of Texas entered and order enjoining various state officials from preventing individuals from voting by mail if they so desired based on a fear of contracting Covid-19. There will certainly be appeals and arguments about the ruling, but for those interested in disability law generally it serves as a reminder that “disability” is not a word whose meaning is fixed. More
definition of disability
In My Fair Lady Henry Higgins famously described his ideal room as having an atmosphere as quiet as an undiscovered tomb. Some anti-noise advocates would like to have the ADA impose this kind of requirement on every public accommodation. A recent news story* about this illustrates how little the press and public understand about what the ADA requires.
The complaint that prompted the story is simple. If you have a hearing impairment then it is hard to understand conversation in a noisy public place like a restaurant.‡ In discussing this complaint the Washington Post article and the underlying paper by Daniel Fink ignore or misunderstand two things about the ADA – what it means to be disabled, what the ADA requires in the name of equality. More
After my last blog on obesity and the ADA* Robert Taft, a subscriber who as far as I know is not related to the fattest U.S. President, William Howard Taft, was kind enough to point out several pending decisions that are likely to affect, if not clarify, the problems related to obesity as a disability. Today we’ll take a look at those cases and the influence they might have. More
Velez v. Il Fornanio (America) Corporation, 2018 WL 6446169, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Dec. 10, 2018) provides a perfect case study in the problems that arise when mental impairments give rise to physical impairments and both give rise to an ADA claim. The opinion isn’t long, but it deserves a careful look since obesity is on the rise and may represent the next frontier in disability rights litigation. More