The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was hailed as an "emancipation proclamation" for people with disabilities at the time of its passage in 1990. Since then, the Supreme Court has significantly limited the scope and effectiveness of the ADA. Perhaps most significantly, in 2001, in the case of University of Alabama v. Garrett, the Court found that Title I of the ADA did not validly abrogate the sovereign immunity of the states. Three years later, in Tennessee v. Lane, the Court upheld Title II of the ADA, but only on an as-applied basis. Lane's as-applied approach, while favorable to its individual litigants, renders it highly likely that some applications of Title II will ultimately be subject to a successful sovereign immunity attack.
Rehabilitation Act Redux,
Yale L. & Pol'y Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol23/iss1/15