A New Start on the Road Not Taken: Driving with Lane to Head Off Disability-Based Denials of Rights


In this Essay, our ultimate goal is to demonstrate how advocates for the civil rights of people with disabilities can use Lane to construct a successful rights-based strategy. In doing so, we will show that Lane embarks upon a palpable and promising (but yet to be explicitly announced) rights-based standard to which important kinds of differential treatment of people with disabilities should be held. This strategy maps the way for legal thinking about disability discrimination to return from the wrong road down which Cleburne drove the national effort to achieve integration for people with disabilities. Our approach deflects disability discrimination and opens up opportunities for disabled people to exercise important rights that other citizens enjoy by turning attention to the public value of their doing so.


Discrimination against people with disabilities, Standard of review (Law), Tennessee v. Lane, City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center 473 U.S. 432 (1985), Disabled persons, Equal protection, Handicapped discrimination, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, United States



Anita Silvers (San Francisco State University)
Leslie Pickering Francis (University of Utah)



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