In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), highlighting the danger of President Bush’s Supreme Court nominations, expected this summer. The Court ruled that state employees who have suffered job discrimination based on disability cannot sue for monetary damages under the ADA, citing the case as an issue of “states’ rights.” The ruling was written by Chief Justice Rehnquist and signed by Justices Scalia, Thomas, O’Connor and Kennedy. Justice Breyer wrote a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsberg – the same four Justices who dissented in both the Boy Scouts v. Dale case, in which the Court ruled to allow the Boy Scouts to discriminate based on sexual orientation, and the Bush v. Gore case. The decision implies a dangerous Supreme Court hostility to federal civil rights legislation.
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