Richard Epstein Against the ADA, Again
Over at the Hoover Institution's website, Richard Epstein has a column restating his long-held views opposing the ADA -- this time, jumping off from the NY Times story on serial litigation, focusing on the public accommodations provisions of the statute. A taste:
One successful ADA lawyer, Martin Coleman, puts it bluntly: “As a private attorney, every lawsuit that I file is to make money, because that’s how I make a living. . . . And in that regard, I’m no different than any other private attorney.”
My gripe is not with Mr. Coleman, but with the legal system that authorizes this type of litigation in the first place. The lawyers behind the ADA scheme claim that their private enforcement beefs up public enforcement. But private lawsuits need not be aligned with social welfare. Indeed, in this instance, they work at cross purposes. Lawyers like Mr. Coleman march to the incentives the ADA creates for them. They don’t know and don’t care that these capital expenditures produce little to no social benefit. Indeed, if there had been any perceptible need for the changes demanded in such lawsuits, some regular customer would have sued long ago.Thanks to Michael Stein for the pointer.