Prof. Drew Days Counsel of Record on ADA Victory in the Supreme Court
A unanimous Supreme Court reaffirmed on January 10, 2006, in Goodman v. Georgia, No. 04-1236, and United States v. Georgia, No. 04-1203, that States cannot discriminate against prisoners with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Court upheld Congress's cause of action for damages against States that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, at least to the extent the state conduct also violates the Constitution.
The case involves allegations of injury to a prisoner, Tony Goodman, at the hands of the Georgia Department of Corrections that allegedly violated the Bill of Rights' prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court reversed the federal Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which had dismissed the prisoner's claims for damages under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Supreme Court remanded the case back to the lower court for further proceedings on the merits of those claims.
Drew S. Days, III, the Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law at YLS, was counsel of record for Goodman and was joined on the brief by Beth Brinkmann, '85 and Seth Galanter, of Morrison & Foerster, and Professor Samuel Bagenstos of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, who argued the case for the petitioner. Goodman's case was accepted by Morrison & Foerster for representation on a pro bono basis at the certiorari petition stage after lower courts rejected his ADA claims.