The Americans With Disabilities Act, passed by a Democratic Congress with support from Republican Senate leader Bob Dole and signed by President George H.W. Bush, is widely regarded as a major bipartisan achievement, in the same rarefied category of near-universally admired legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama and John McCain both proclaimed their support for the continuing enforcement of the ADA, which gives civil-rights protections to people with disabilities and guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in places of public accommodation and government services.
But did the law, which has touched nearly every American’s life—more than 50 million Americans have disabilities, and if you’ve ever pushed a stroller through a curb cut or used a subway elevator you owe the ADA a thank-you note—actually do more harm than good? That’s the radical proposition advanced by some conservative and libertarian commentators in the wake of the ADA’s 20th anniversary last week.
What are your thoughts?