Fox & Robertson along with a dream team of drafting partners filed an amicus brief today in the case of Acheson Hotels v. Laufer, currently pending in the Supreme Court. The case addresses the issue of “tester standing,” that is, whether people protected by civil rights laws have standing to sue when they intentionally investigate compliance and encounter discrimination.
Because tester litigation has been responsible for calling out and challenging widespread disability discrimination, businesses hate it. The amicus briefs they filed were full of hair-on-fire numbers — of pending ADA lawsuits — that they characterize as a “staggering,” “unrelenting tide” that is “clog[ging] federal court dockets.” Chamber of Commerce Br. 7, 11; Retail Litig. Ctr. Br. 4, 11, 20, 22. One business brief asserted that tester standing “threat[ened] . . . the cohesiveness of our union.” Ctr. for Constitutional Responsibility Br. 1. Drama much?
Of course numbers are catnip to the data nerds here at Fox & Robertson World Headquarters, so we decided to take a look at the actual numbers of ADA cases filed in federal court — based on data gathered by the United States Courts on its uscourts.gov website — and see how they looked in context. Here’s a chart comparing the “ADA-Other” category — roughly speaking, non-employment ADA cases, including the Title III cases that cause flaming hair on the business side — with six other common types of cases. Note the bright red ADA-Other line at the bottom.
See? Not so bad after all! If business put half the effort into compliance that they put into whining, the world would be pretty damn accessible by now.
Be sure to check out our amicus brief with other fun facts and incisive arguments from the dream team: free agent disability rights rockstar Karla Gilbride, Michelle Uzeta at Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Tom Zito at Disability Rights Advocates, Justin Ormand at Allen & Overy and yours truly here at the World HQ.