[Chief Justice Rehnquist]
City of Boerne Court defines substance of constitutional
Confirmed the long-settled principle that it is the
responsibility of this Court,
not Congress, to define
the substance of constitutional
Must exhibit congruence and proportionality
Section 5 legislation
reaching beyond the scope of
section 1's actual guarantees
must exhibit "congruence and
between the injury to be prevented or remedied and the means
adopted to that end."
First Step Identify the scope of the constitutional right at
Identify with some precision the scope of the constitutional
right at issue.
Inquire Examine section 1 limitation
The Inquiry requires us to examine the limitations 1 of the
Fourteenth Amendment places upon States' treatment of the
Look to prior decisions under the Equal Protection Clause
dealing with this issue.
In Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc., (Rational-basis)
Concluding that such legislation that
treats people with disabilities
differently from people
must satisfy only the minimum
rational-basis review applicable to general social
and economic legislation.
States not required to make accommodations, If actions are
States are not required
by the Fourteenth Amendment to make
special accommodations for the disabled, so
long as their
actions towards such individuals are rational.
Job Qualifications Do Not make allowances
They could quite hard headedly -- and perhaps hardheartedly --
hold to job-qualification requirements which do not make
allowance for the disabled.
Special accommodations have to come from positive law
If special accommodations for the disabled are to be required,
they have to come from positive law and not through the Equal
Step 2 Example whether Congress identified a history and
pattern of unconstitutional employment discrimination by the
States against the disabled
Fails to show a pattern
Garret Contends Inquiry should extend to cities and counties
All of these are "state actors" for purposes of the Fourteenth
Court Eleventh Amendment
The Eleventh Amendment does not extend its immunity to units of
Court Entities are subject to private claims for damages
These entities are subject to private claims for damages under
the ADA without Congress' ever having to rely on 5 of the
Fourteenth Amendment to render them so.
It would make no sense to consider constitutional violations on
their part, as well as by the States themselves, when only the
States are the beneficiaries of the Eleventh Amendment.
Board of Trustees Cite disability cases that did not involve
Even if true, fall short of a pattern of unconstitutional
discrimination based upon section 5 legislation.
Congress found that "some 43,000,000 Americans have one or more
physical or mental disabilities."
States alone employed more than 4.5 million people.
Congress assembled only such minimal evidence of
unconstitutional state discrimination in employment against the
Rights and Remedy Concerns created by the ADA
The rights and remedies created by the ADA against the States
would raise the same sort of concerns as to congruence and
proportionality as were found in City of Boerne.
It would be entirely rational
(and therefore constitutional) for a state employer to
conserve scarce financial resources
by hiring employees who are able to
use existing facilities, the ADA requires employers
to "make existing facilities used by employees readily
accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities."
ADA does not except a reasonable accommodation requirement
The ADA does except employers from the "reasonable
accommodation" requirement where the employer "can demonstrate
that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the
operation of the business of such covered entity."
Accommodation requirement far exceeds what is constitutionally
The accommodation duty far exceeds
what is constitutionally required in that it makes
unlawful a range of alternate responses that would be reasonable
but would fall short of imposing an
"undue burden" upon the employer.
Requires Employer to prove it would suffer from a burden
The Act also makes it the employer's
duty to prove that it
would suffer such a burden,
instead of requiring (as
the Constitution does) that the
complaining party negate reasonable bases for the
Requirement for private individuals to recovery money damages
There must be a pattern of
discrimination by the States which
violates the Fourteenth Amendment,
The remedy imposed by Congress must
be congruent and proportional to the
[Justice Breyer, Justice Stevens, Justice Souter, Justice
Ginsburg] - DISSENT
Section 5 Grants Congress the Power to Enforce and equal
Section 5, however, grants Congress the "power to enforce, by
appropriate legislation" the Fourteenth Amendment's equal
In my view, Congress reasonably could have concluded that the
remedy before us constitutes an
"appropriate" way to enforce this basic equal protection
Concerning Minimal Evidence
Congress compiled a vast legislative record documenting
massive, society-wide discrimination against persons with
Information was presented at 13 Congressional hearings.
Experience Gathered over 40 years.
Congress had a specific task force to assess the need for this
The task force held hearings in every State.
Discrimination by private persons and local governments
This discrimination implicates State Governments.
State agencies form part of the same larger society.
These agencies are not immune from stereotypic assumptions and
the pattern of purposeful unequal treatment that Congress
Equal Protection Clause Obligation
Applies to state and local governments alike.
300 Examples of discrimination by State Government
impossible to obtain a state job,
to retain state employment,
to use the public transportation that was readily available to
others in order to get to work, or
to obtain a public education, which is often a prerequisite to
State-imposed barriers also frequently made it difficult or
impossible for people to vote, to enter a public building, to
access important government services, such as calling for
emergency assistance, and to find a place to live due to a
pattern of irrational zoning decisions similar to the
discrimination that we held unconstitutional in Cleburne.
Congress is not a judicial body.
Congress is compelled to reach general conclusions to determine
The Court should not hold Congresss section 5 power hostage to
formal court rules.
Congress is being held to a strict, judicially CREATED
There is simply no reason to require
Congress, seeking to
determine facts relevant to the exercise of its 5 authority,
to adopt rules or presumptions that reflect a court's
Congress can gather facts and find an appropriate remedy
Unlike courts, Congress can readily
gather facts from across the Nation,
assess the magnitude of a problem,
and more easily
find an appropriate remedy.
Unlike courts, Congress directly
reflects public attitudes and beliefs, enabling
Congress better to understand
where, and to what extent, refusals to accommodate a disability
amount to behavior that is callous or unreasonable to the point
of lacking constitutional justification.
Unlike judges, Members of Congress
can directly obtain information from constituents who
have first-hand experience with discrimination and related
The Courts harsh review of Congress is similar to the
limitation that it ONCE imposed upon Congresss Commerce Clause
This type of discrimination is not against a PARTICULAR race or
It does not threaten a basic constitutionally protected liberty.
The legislation does not discriminate against anyone.
It does not pose any threat to liberty.
Federalism is overridden by power to enforce the Civil War