Congress has given final approval to a major civil rights bill, expanding protections for people with disabilities and overturning several recent Supreme Court decisions. The bill goes to President Bush for his signature. The White House said Mr. Bush would sign the bill. The bill expands the definition of disability and makes it easier for workers to prove discrimination. It explicitly rejects the strict standards used by the Supreme Court to determine who is disabled. The bill declares that the Court went wrong by “eliminating protection for many individuals whom Congress intended to protect” under the 1990 law. Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the House Democratic leader, observed: “The Supreme Court misconstrued our intent. Our intent was to be inclusive.”
Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, the chief sponsor of the bill, said: “The Supreme Court decisions have led to a supreme absurdity, a Catch-22 situation. The more successful a person is at coping with a disability, the more likely it is the court will find that they are no longer disabled and therefore no longer covered under the A.D.A.” Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, said the bill, by establishing more generous coverage and protection, “will make a real difference in the lives of real people.” Clearly, the members of Congress and all who worked to get this legislation passed are due a vote of thanks!
Source: New York Times
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