June 5, 2001 --
While the U.S. Supreme Court's May 29 ruling in PGA Tour v. Martin was a victory for the Americans with Disabilities Act's Title III, it does not seem to be changing the media's understanding of the law.
Casey Martin's story was "one about inspiration, not litigation," about a "courageous young man, ... a gleaming example of how a handicap can be overcome," wrote Orlando Sentinel Sports Columnist Mike Bianchi (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/templates/misc/printstory.jsp?slug=orl%2Dspt%2Dcaseypro30053001). Bianchi's is just one of many columns that took this angle.
A good overview of national opinion can be found in columns in Sunday's Washington Post. In "Compassionate' Courts," Columnist George F. Will says he does not like them (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A10840-2001Jun2?language=printer); in "Golf, Baseball and . . .," David S. Broder says he's "scared of the precedent" he thinks the case will set (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A10847-2001Jun2?language=printer).
Among the better editorials was St. Louis Post's on May 30 (<>http://home.post-dispatch.com/channel\pdweb.nsf/text/86256A0E0068FE5086256A5C002524F5 ), which noted that the "essence of the ADA" is about "making reasonable modifications that do not fundamentally alter the undertaking -- in this case, making golf shots." **NOTE: THIS WILL DISAPPEAR TOMORROW INTO THE POST'S FEE-BASED ARCHIVES -- SO IF YOU WANT TO READ IT, DO IT NOW! **
Ragged Edge Online's "EXTRA!" feature has a discussing the coverage in more detail; to read it, go to http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/extra/caseyscart.htm
E-Letter readers should watch the Baltimore Sun's Perspective section (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/perspective/) this coming Sunday for an expected analysis of news coverage of the Martin decision from Center for An Accessible Society associate and Towson University journalism professor Beth Haller.
The Center's overview is online at http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/ada/pgavmartin.htm
To read the Supreme Court opinion, go to http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=00-24#section1)