The Supreme Court ruled May 17 that disabled people can sue state governments for failing to provide them access to courthouses, voting booths or other public services.
Previously, states had been shielded from access-related lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In 2001, the Supreme Court, citing states' "sovereign im-munity", ruled that disabled state employees could not sue for job-related discrimination (hiring, firing, etc.) under ADA.
The case involved a disabled man forced to crawl up the steps of a rural Tennessee courthouse to reach the second floor because it had no ramps or elevators. (Tennessee v. Lane, No. 02-1667)