Friday, November 15, 2013

United States v. Georgia case brief

United States v. Georgia case brief summary
546 U.S. 151 (2006)

Petitioner disabled inmate sued respondents, a state and its department of corrections, alleging his confinement conditions violated Title II of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C.S. § 12131 et seq. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment to respondents on Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity. A writ of certiorari was granted as to the abrogation of state sovereign immunity.


  • 42 U.S.C.S. § 12202 was an unequivocal expression of Congress's intent to abrogate state sovereign immunity. 
  • The inmate's claims for money damages against the state under Title II of the ADA were evidently based, at least in a large part, on conduct that independently violated the provisions of U.S. Constitutional amendment XIV, § 1, which incorporated the Eighth Amendment's guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment. 
  •  § 5 of the 14th Amendment included the power to abrogate state sovereign immunity by authorizing private suits for damages against the states. 
  • Thus, insofar as Title II of the ADA created a private cause of action for damages against the states for conduct that actually violated the Fourteenth Amendment, Title II of the ADA validly abrogated state sovereign immunity. 
  • The Eleventh Circuit erred in dismissing the inmate's Title II of the ADA claims that were based on such unconstitutional conduct.


The judgment of the Eleventh Circuit was reversed, and the suit was remanded for further proceedings.

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