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ADA Valid Exercise of Congressional Authority

The Americans with Disabilities Act is not invalid under the Eleventh Amendment because it is a proper exercise of Congress's authority under 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Unlike the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the legislative record of which lacked examples of modern instances supporting the need for the legislation, the ADA incorporates detailed and specific findings regarding the nature and extent of persistent discrimination by disabled persons in various areas. These findings entitle Congress to make illegal conduct that is not independently unconstitutional. The court notes that this question is under consideration en banc in another case.

State officials may not be sued in their individual capacities for violating the ADA, since the statute provides for suit against public entities but not individuals. Nor may they be sued under § 1983 for violating the ADA, since that would be inconsistent with the comprehensive remedial and enforcement scheme. The implication seems to be that a damage remedy is available against the public entity itself, but the court doesn't say so. See: Alsbrook v. City of Maumelle, Ark., 156 F.3d 825 (8th Cir. 1998).

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Related legal case

Alsbrook v. City of Maumelle, Ark.