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Disability Groups Unite Behind Sotomayor Confirmation

July 8, 2009

More than two dozen national disability organizations are banding together to ask the Senate to confirm Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

In a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the organizations’ cited Sotomayor’s personal experience as an individual with diabetes and said her judicial record indicates “a good understanding of – and healthy respect for – the rights of persons with disabilities.”

Organizations that are part of the coalition supporting Sotomayor include the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Autism Society of America, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Disability Rights Network and the National Down Syndrome Society.

President Barack Obama nominated Sotomayor in May to replace Justice David Souter. Sotomayor must be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and then by the full Senate in order to take on the role.

Sotomayor previously considered cases related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as well as the Social Security and Medicaid programs during her time as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, according to an analysis of her rulings from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

“Judge Sotomayor has repeatedly demonstrated a thorough understanding and a deep respect for the laws that protect the rights of Americans with physical and mental disabilities, like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. We have every reason to believe she will continue this stellar record when confirmed to the Supreme Court,” said Robert Bernstein, executive director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

News source: Disability Scoop

Note: The DBTAC: Southeast ADA Center works in partnership with the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University. BBI and Professor Peter Blanck joined disability organizations and disability law professors in supporting nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. For more information, visit the BBI website.

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