ASA & other disability organizations: “Sotomayor is our champion”

With the Senate confirmation hearings for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court starting today, I thought our blog readers might be interested in what activists for people with autism and other disabilities are saying about Judge Sonia Sotomayor. The Autism Society of America, along with dozens of other disability groups, signed a letter supporting Sotomayor’s confirmation. The letter was sent to Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

From a press release put out by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law:

Her empathy is evident, as is her understanding that judges’ decisions interpreting these federal laws have real-life consequences for people with disabilities and their opportunity to participate in American life.

Lastly, a quote from Andrew J. Imparato, President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities:

When we met with the White House Counsel, we emphasized the importance of President Obama using this opportunity to put someone on the Court who has a demonstrated commitment to and understanding of the laws that protect our civil rights and safeguard our human dignity. Based on our preliminary analysis of Judge Sotomayor’s extensive record on the bench, we are encouraged that she may be the champion we have been looking for. Her jurisprudence in the disability area shows that she has a good understanding of the real-life implications of her decisions, and sees the important connections between disability rights laws and other civil rights laws. Her personal experience as a woman with childhood-onset insulin-dependent diabetes gives her additional insights that can inform her approach to disability issues. We look forward to studying her record in more detail, and working on a bipartisan basis with the Senate to make sure that her approach to disability law is explored as part of the confirmation process.

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law reviewed a selection of Judge Sotomayor’s district court and Second Circuit decisions. Read the analysis and “judge” Sotomayor for yourself.


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