Wednesday, July 27, 2005

D. Maine on Constitutionality of Title II As Applied to Public Mental Health Services

In Buchanan v. Maine, 2005 WL 1711774 (D. Maine, July 22, 2005), the court ruled that Title II of the ADA does not validly abrogate state sovereign immunity as applied to cases seeking access to public mental health services. Without much analysis, the court noted that most (though not all) of the lower-court cases since Tennessee v. Lane have confined that case to circumstances where the defendant's conduct implicates fundamental constitutional rights, and the court asserted that no fundamental constitutional rights were implicated here. The court allowed the plaintiff's suit to proceed, however, on the ground that the state might have waived its sovereign immunity by entering into a consent decree.


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