Oops! As I say, I'm no lawyer.
The suit was originally filed 3 years ago by Nebraska Advocacy Services against the state of Nebraska for failing to "fully fund" community-based services for people and thus putting them in danger of institutionalization.
Anyhow, a case like this, were the Supremes to hear it, would certainly have profound implications -- both for people on waiting lists for community services and for people being forced into nursing homes because of the lack of in-home services, as I blogged about Monday.
Nebraska Advocacy Services in its suit says that "under certain circumstances, the denial of community-based services which results in the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with disabilities is a violation of their fundamental liberty interest protected by U. S. Constitution," according to Advocacy Services attorney Shirley Ann Mora James.
When the suit was first filed, the state argued that it was "immune" from ADA suits; later, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Nebraska could not be sued under Americans with Disabilities Act's Title II (which pertains to government services).
But in January, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in the case Goodman v. Georgia that states are not automatically immune from lawsuits from disabled individuals claiming a right to nondiscriminatory services -- and in light of this ruling, the Court has decided to "re-visit" this Nebraska case, known as Bill M. v. Nebraska Dep't of Health and Human Services.
The plaintiffs are seeking home- and community-based services available through the state's Home and Community Based Waiver Program -- and the state has "unlawfully restricted funding" to the program, says the suit.
To read about the legal implications of this case, visit the Disability Law Blog.
The news story:
U S high court orders new hearing in disabilities case (Sioux City Journal)