Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The First Circuit decided the issue of whether the Eleventh Amendment prevents a disabled student from suing a state university for damages under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. As the Court noted, Congress can abrogate the sovereign immunity of the states so long as it makes its intention to abrogate this immunity unmistakeably clear in the language of the statute and acts pursuant to a valid exercise of its power under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The second prong of this test encompasses action that actually violates the Constitution or conduct that does not facially violate the Constitution but is prohibited in order to prevent and deter unconstitutional conduct.

The Court held that the statute's prophalactic purpose of protecting the constitutional rights to handicapped students met these requirements and properly abdicated state soverign immunity.

The decision in Toledo v. Sanchez can be found here.


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