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COSTLY, INANE DISABILITIES ACT IS AN `ATTORNEY’S DREAM ANSWERED’

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James Bovard has an article about the lunacy of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the July 1995 American Spectator that will make your day.

In August 1993, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that obesity was a protected disability. Therefore, a 300-pound woman who was turned away as a nurse's aide could sue the hospital. A 360-pound woman brought a $1.5 million suit against a Memphis theater for her emotional distress when she found out she couldn't fit into any of the theater's seats. Not to be outdone, a 410-pound man, denied a promotion from cleaner to train operator, sued the New York Transit Authority for discrimination.A Santa Monica, Calif., deaf woman sued Burger King, claiming its drive-through windows illegally discriminated against deaf people. Burger King settled the lawsuit by agreeing to install visual electronic-ordering devices at 10 restaurants. In March 1993, a federal judge ruled that the District of Columbia's practice of excluding blind people from jury duty was a violation of the ADA.

The Americans with Disabilities Act also has been a godsend to dumb college students. Thousands have successfully dodged required courses by getting a shrink to certify them as "math-disabled." The president of Boston University said ADA lawsuits and threats have resulted in demands to "accommodate foreign language majors who have foreign-language phobia (and) to comfort physics students who suffer from dyscalculia, the learning disability that prevents one from learning math."

University professors also benefit from the ADA. A Suffolk University professor sued the law school, claiming she was denied tenure because she had a disease that results in lethargy and lower productivity. Professor Donald Winston, an English instructor at Central Maine Technical College, was fired for kissing students and having sex with them. Winston sued the college, claiming discrimination against the handicapped. Two doctors at his trial testified the professor suffered from "sexual addiction."

Some attempts at blatant extortion and special privilege have been thrown out of court. Others have cost companies millions of dollars. Even when a case is thrown out, companies spend thousands of dollars defending themselves against frivolous suits. And who pays? You and I, through higher product prices or less convenience. But lawyers love it. In fact, in some quarters, the ADA is taken to stand for "Attorney's Dream Answered."

We can't blame the ADA on mush-headed liberals. It was passed at President Bush's urging in 1990 along with those other Bush economy-crippling favorites such as the Clean Water Act and the 1990 Civil Rights Act.

What's Williams' solution to ADA mandates? Amendment Ten says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Then I checked Article I, Section 8, and found no authorization for the ADA. The solution is a broad-based refusal to comply with ADA mandates. After all, neither the states, nor the people, have a moral duty to obey unconstitutional acts of Congress.