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Supreme Court hears argument in disabled inmate suit

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday heard arguments in US v. Georgia and Goodman v. Georgia [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], a consolidated case in which it will decide whether states can be sued by disabled inmates under the Americans with Disabilities Act [text; DOJ website] for failing to accomodate them. In the case, the Court heard the appeal of Tony Goodman, a disabled Georgia inmate who charged the state with leaving him for 23 hours a day in a cell so narrow that he could not turn his wheelchair around. In May 2004 the Court ruled 5-4 in Tennessee v. Lane [PDF text; JURIST report], that states could be sued for failing to provide disabled persons access to courts, with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor [Oyez profile] casting the deciding vote. If O'Connor is replaced prior to a decision in this case, the Court could face the issue again next year if it splits on the present issue. AP has more.

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