Sunday, August 28, 2011

Court upholds banishing homeless services

Depressing case from Richmond, Virginia: Fourth Circuit upholds a decision rejecting a civil rights complaint that sounded perfectly reasonable. The plaintiffs pointed out that the city of Richmond and the administration of Virginia Commonwealth University banished a homeless services center two miles out of town because they didn't like the looks of the clients. The complaint noted that homeless people often belong to racial groups that are targets for prejudice, and/or have disabilities, and/or are perceived as being sick, addicted, etc. -- i.e. as people with disabilities. The complaint invoked antiracist law and precedent, and also, thoughtfully, the "perceived as having a disability" section of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A court majority booted the argument. A small mercy: one of the three judges had the decency to dissent in part.

Plaintiff has a marvelous name: "A Society Without a Name, For People Without A Home Millennium Future-Present (ASWAN)." It's a name that welcomes us advisedly to the twenty-first century. We've seen the future, and it's busted.

FindLaw has commentary and relevant links here.

No comments:

Post a Comment