Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Op-Ed on Goodman

See this piece in the Athens Banner-Herald about Goodman v. Georgia, which is currently before the Supreme Court. As one of Goodman's counsel, I particularly like this excerpt:

The case is not unique in Georgia. A sad pattern has developed. In recent times, state government has lost several high-profile lawsuits relating to the mistreatment of disabled people. Perhaps none was more important than the Olmstead case, another U.S. Supreme Court case originating in Georgia, in which the court found the ADA requires that, when practical, people with disabilities must be cared for in community homes rather than institutions. Georgia apparently has failed to comply with that decision, leading to more widely publicized litigation demanding public facilities for the disabled across the state.

Ultimately, Georgia taxpayers could wind up spending astronomical sums renovating public institutions and reinventing rehabilitation programs because state government refused to budge on providing basic support for the lame and sick.

Meanwhile, as the centerpiece of its economic development strategy, the Perdue administration has pledged an estimated $25 million to build a NASCAR museum in Atlanta. The proposal, which the governor and his pals have tried to keep secret, sounds and looks an awful lot like a gigantic amusement park.

Some might wonder if those funds could not be better spent on developing a trained labor force to attract more well-paying jobs. Or how about using that money to upgrade facilities for the disabled or to add more prison beds to keep our state out of the national news and avoid expensive court-ordered remediation?

Maybe Georgia should start lobbying for royalties for constantly supplying the news and entertainment industries with the Peach State's own brand of stranger-than-fiction fodder. No doubt, a Hollywood writer already is working on a script titled, "I Was in a Wheelchair on a Georgia Chain Gang."

Thanks to How Appealing for pointing this out.


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