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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Human Rights & Civil Liberties

House votes to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act; Justice Department Scraps ADA Guidance

  • Part 1: House votes to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act
    • A House bill would make it harder for people with disabilities to hold businesses accountable for inaccessibility.
  • Part 2: Justice Department Scraps ADA Guidance
    • Attorney General Sessions is rescinding several guidance documents clarifying the implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Part 1: House votes to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act People participate in the first annual Disability Pride Parade on July 12, 2015 in New York City. Credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

A House bill would make it harder for people with disabilities to hold businesses accountable for inaccessibility.

Casey Quinlan, Think Progress

Feb 15, 2018 | On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 225 to 192 in favor of a bill that would significantly weaken the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and let businesses off the hook for failing to provide accommodations for accessibility.

The ADA Education and Reform Act was introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), and was recently adopted in the House Judiciary Committee. It addresses the 1990 civil rights law that protects people with disabilities when it comes to employment; access to public entities, such as transportation; and accommodations to fully enjoy businesses, such as being able to go to a hotel without barriers to getting inside. The law allows people with disabilities to file lawsuits against businesses that don’t provide reasonable accommodations, but supporters of the ADA Education and Reform Act argue that it fuels “drive-by lawsuits.” Casey Quinlan is a policy reporter at ThinkProgress covering economic policy and civil rights issues.

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Part 2: Justice Department Scraps ADA Guidance Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked numerous guidance documents including over a half dozen pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act and said more withdrawals may be forthcoming.(Ting Shen/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)

Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop
January 4, 2018 | Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he’s rescinding more than two dozen guidance documents including several clarifying the implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Among the 25 revoked documents are a number of ADA-related items dating as far back as 1995 offering guidance on everything from service animals to accessible building practices as well as a 2016 letter on employment of people with disabilities.

Michelle Diament is a seasoned journalist whose work has appeared in People, AARP, The Washington Post Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Gannett News Service. As the sibling of an adult with autism, Diament is no stranger to the world of disability issues.

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Demanding a Clean DACA Bill, Now!

  • While undocumented immigrants and their allies continue to organize against the racist Trump administration and complicit Republican leaders, Democratic leaders, who depend on the Latina/o vote, have failed miserably.
  • Related: Make a Call for Dreamers

Alvaro Huerta, LA Progressive Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Facebook. 15, 2018 | Democratic leaders should unite and stand firm against President Donald J. Trump—“Racist-in-Chief” and “Hustler-in-Chief”—and the complicit Republican leaders on passing a clean DACA bill. A clean bill only focuses on DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides temporary protections from deportation and work permits for an estimated 800,000 young undocumented immigrants. Trump announced the phase out of DACA on September 5, 2017, which former President Barack H. Obama—“Deporter-in-Chief”—implemented as an executive order on June 15, 2012.

As a manufactured crisis by Trump, unless Congress acts or the courts successfully intervene on behalf of immigrants, DACA will end on March 5, 2018, creating havoc for hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth. More specifically, if the xenophobic forces in the Trump administration and Congress prevail, the violent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents—la migra—will target the energetic, productive and hard-working youth with mass deportations. Huerta is an assistant professor of urban and regional planning and ethnic and women’s studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is the author of “Reframing the Latino Immigration Debate: Towards a Humanistic Paradigm,” published by San Diego State University Press (2013).

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Make a Call for Dreamers, Indivisible Team

  • Immigrant youth have waited too long for a permanent solution to the crisis created by Trump’s vicious deportation agenda. 122 Dreamers lose their protection every day. The time for hesitation is over.
  • See where your Senators stand and make a call to Senators who are voting to deport Dreamers. Justice!  No Peace!  Please share this post.

Rachel Meeropol on Illegal Detentions


Former US Attorney John Ashcroft

It seems to me incredibly relevant that the communities likely to be subjected to discriminatory and arbitrary national security policies are black and brown communities … . That it seems that the rights of those individuals maybe don’t weigh quite as heavily as the rights of others, and that’s something we have to confront.

Rachel Meeropol, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates  from all reader supported Evergreene Digest


June 30, 2017 | This week on CounterSpin: After 9/11, hundreds of non-citizen Muslim, Arab and South Asian men should be locked up and treated as suspected terrorists, despite no of terrorist connections. That policy came from the highest levels of government; that’s why a suit brought on behalf of some of those men sought damages from top officials, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft. The Supreme Court has just denied the men’s right to sue those officials. What does that mean for accountability when powerful people make unconstitutional policy? We’ll hear from Rachel Meeropol, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. (MP3)

Transcript: Janine Jackson interviewed Rachel Meeropol for the June 30, 2017, episode of CounterSpin about the Supreme Court’s rejection of an unlawful detention lawsuit. This is a lightly edited transcript.

If We Don’t Have Accountability, There’s Nothing to Stop it From Happening Again <

Rachel Meeropol is a Senior Staff Attorney and Associate Director of Legal Training and Education at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she works on prisoners' rights, Muslim profiling, criminalization of dissent, and First Amendment issues.

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What We Discovered During a Year of Documenting Hate


Hate crimes often fall through the cracks in our justice system, and we've only just scratched the surface of understanding why.

Rachel Glickhouse, ProPublica with real independence and integrity is a rare thing. All reader supported Evergreene Digest relies - exclusively!- on reader donations. Click on the donation button above to make a contribution and support our work.


Dec. 26, 2017 | The days after Election Day last year seemed to bring with them a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents. Reports filled social media and appeared in local news. There were the letters calling for the genocide of Muslims that were sent to Islamic centers from California to Ohio. And the swastikas that were scrawled on buildings around the country. In Florida, “colored” and “whites only” signs were posted over water fountains at a high school. A man assaulted a Hispanic woman in San Francisco, telling her “No Latinos here.”

But were these horrible events indicative of an increase in crimes and incidents themselves, or did the reports simply reflect an increased awareness and willingness to come forward on the part of victims and witnesses? As data journalists, we went looking for answers and were not prepared for what we found: Nobody knows for sure. Hate crimes are so poorly tracked in America, there’s no way to undertake the kind of national analysis that we do in other areas, from bank robberies to virus outbreaks.

Rachel Glickhouse is the ProPublica partner manager for Documenting Hate.

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