Quantcast
Connect with us

A girl and her service dog: top US court mulls discrimination claim

Published

on

Not for the first time, a pooch named Wonder was left out in the cold on Monday, waiting outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices considered whether a Michigan school district can be sued for not letting a disabled girl take the service dog to class.

The court on Monday heard arguments in a case involving Ehlena Fry, a 12-year-old with cerebral palsy, that explores the circumstances under which people can sue for damages arising from discrimination against the disabled.

ADVERTISEMENT

Several justices indicated that lawsuits like the one brought by the girl’s parents might be allowed in certain circumstances.

The girl, from Manchester, Michigan, was born with the condition that affects body movement, muscle coordination and balance. Her pediatrician prescribed a service dog to help her live independently.

Wonder, a goldendoodle, was trained to help her balance, retrieve dropped items, open and close doors, turn on lights, take off her coat and other tasks. Her medical condition imposes no cognitive impairment.

The case arose in 2009 when Ezra Eby Elementary School, which Ehlena attended, refused after a trial period to allow the girl, who was 5 at the time, to continue to bring Wonder to school. The family withdrew Ehlena and home-schooled her for two years. She is now enrolled in middle school and no longer needs canine assistance, though Wonder still lives with the family.

The family filed a lawsuit in 2012, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, claiming the school violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation and other areas.

ADVERTISEMENT

A judge threw out the lawsuit, saying the family had failed to follow all the administrative procedures available before filing the suit in federal court. The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2015 upheld that decision, prompting the family to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The legal issue is whether the family was required under a separate U.S. law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to try all alternative state remedies before filing a federal lawsuit.

A number of justices indicated that because the family sought monetary damages for emotional distress, not an agreement to allow her to continue attending the school, it would make little sense to require them to undertake the administrative process.

ADVERTISEMENT

To do so would be “kind of a charade,” Chief Justice John Roberts said.

Ehlena attended the argument. Wonder waited outside.

ADVERTISEMENT

A ruling is due by the end of June.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Cincinnati sheriff deputies replace American flag at the Justice Center with ‘thin-blue-line’ flag

Published

on

Cincinnati police were filmed replacing the American flag that hangs over the Justice Center in Ohio's third-largest city. They then replaced it with the thin-blue-line flag, that was created to advocate for law-enforcement during Black Lives Matter Protests.

During the Charlottesville, Virginia riots, right-wing and white supremacist activists carried the thin-blue-line flag along with the Confederate flag to speak out against Black Lives Matter.

While the flag may have been created in support of law enforcement, it has been adopted by white supremacists and taken on a darker meaning.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

WATCH: DC protesters turn over ‘agitator’ to police — then the agitators try to start a fight with cops

Published

on

Protesters in Washington, D.C. were captured on video handing over an agitator to police, while other agitators in paintball tactical gear appeared to try and start fights with police.

Former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, revealed that his former colleagues and law enforcement he knows recognize that far-right agitators are attempting to start significant conflicts between police and protesters.

"There is a minimal presence of Antifa, but a far more disturbing presence of right-wing race-based hate groups, such as the Boogaloo Boys who think there will be a race-based civil war coming," he said on MSNBC.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump could use Antifa conspiracy theories to ‘investigate his political opponents’: Ex-FBI assistant director

Published

on

According to former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi, there are far more white supremacists and anti-government agitators infiltrating the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests than Antifa. He fears Trump will use Antifa as an excuse to investigate his political opponents.

Speaking to MSNBC on Sunday evening, Figliuzzi told host Brian Williams that his sources in law enforcement are telling him that President Donald Trump doesn't have his facts straight on Antifa.

"We're seeing components of legitimate frustrated protesters responding to Mr. Floyd's demise and others," explained Figliuzzi. "Then we are seeing people who are exploiting this for their own purposes, and some of them are more than just opportunistic criminals. Some of them are organized, and some of them have diverse agendas but are coming together to wreak havoc. And I think what we need to pay attention to here is what we have evidence of, what we don't have evidence of, and what we're hearing from the White House and the attorney general."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image