Aggregated News

Disability rights demonstration

Last week, the Supreme Court acquiesced to another attack on the voting rights of all Americans. In a 5-3 decision, the court blocked a trial judge’s ruling permitting Alabama counties to offer curbside voting as a reasonable accommodation to disabled voters.

People with disabilities represent over 95 percent of Covid-related deaths in Alabama. Now, they must risk their lives in order to exercise their constitutional rights. Howard Porter Jr. a Black plaintiff with asthma and Parkinson’s disease, testified in the case that many of his ancestors died to vote, but “while I don’t mind dying to vote, I think we’re past that — we’re past that time.”

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court disagreed — and with the arrival of Amy Coney Barrett, will likely continue to do so. But even in defeat, Merrill v. People First of Alabama highlights an important truth: Disability rights laws offer a powerful tool to advance civil rights for all Americans.

Alabama’s ban on curbside voting was challenged by People First of Alabama, an advocacy organization run by people with developmental disabilities, using the 1990... see more