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Groups fight anti-ADA judge Sutton nomination to federal bench
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May 22, 2001 -- The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow (Wed., May 23) on the nomination of Jeffrey Sutton, Pres. George .W. Bush's nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

National disability groups are opposing the nomination and have contacted Bush and notified media. Sutton argued against the Americans with Disabilities Act before the U. S. Supreme Court this past fall on the Garrett case. (For more on the Garrett decision, go to )

Disability advocates in Washington DC on Sat., May 19 marched to the White House to express opposition. The rally was spearheaded by ADA Watch (for info email Stories about disability opposition to the Sutton nomination ran in Saturday's Cleveland Plain Dealer ( and the Columbus Dispatch ( Sutton is from Columbus.

A 1992 law clerk for conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Sutton told the Court last fall when he argued the Garrett case for Alabama that the ADA "exaggerated discrimination problems by states." The ADA was "not needed," he told the Court, since all 50 states had disability antidiscrimination laws already.

Besides the Garrett case, Sutton, a state solicitor for Ohio, successfully argued in support of states' rights in the Kimel case, in which the U. S. Supreme Court ruled, in Dec., 1999, that the Age Discrimination Act was unconstitutional. Many of the same arguments used in Kimel were used by Sutton to argue against the ADA's constitutionality in the Garrett case. Sutton has been nominated for the federal judgeship of the 6th Circuit Court, which reviews appeals from the federal district courts in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Tomorrow's hearing will be in Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226 at 10 AM. For more information or for a list of Committee members, email ADA Watch's Jim Ward at

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