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Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

May 10, 2010 — The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law congratulates President Obama on his nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court.

“The advancement of legal protections for people with disabilities has always been a bipartisan effort.  We need strong leaders on the courts to ensure that disability rights laws have the broad remedial effect Congress intended,” said Robert Bernstein, Ph.D., executive director of the Bazelon Center.  “We hope General Kagan will be such a leader on the Supreme Court.”

In the near future, the Supreme Court will likely take up issues of critical importance to people with disabilities, including the constitutionality and enforcement of this year’s landmark health care reform legislation, which expands access to mental health treatment. The Court may also consider the first cases involving the 2008 Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), which reaffirms the ADA’s protections for thousands of people with disabilities, including individuals with mental illnesses.

“We appreciate Elena Kagan’s demonstrated ability to bring together people from all sides of the political spectrum to reach consensus on the challenges we face and we look forward to learning more about her views on disability rights issues during the confirmation process, ” added Bernstein.