Wednesday, October 05, 2005

N.M. Supreme Court Applies Intermediate Scruitiny to Mental Disability Discrimination Claim

This is almost two months old, but new on Westlaw as far as I can tell: In Breen v. Carlsbad Municipal Schools, the New Mexico Supreme Court held that the state's worker's compensation system violated the state constitution's Equal Protection Clause. In particular, as the court described them, the legal provisions setting up the system "grant compensation for life for total permanent physical disabilities and up to 700 weeks of compensation for permanent partial physical disabilities, yet cap compensation for all primary mental disabilities at 100 weeks." The court held that under the state constitution, people with mental disabilities make up a quasi-suspect class, and that the physical/mental distinction failed intermediate scrutiny. This is a really important opinion, both for what it says about the scrutiny applied to disability-based classifications and for its parity holding.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home