Another Judge calls for Sixth Circuit to re-examine aberrant ADA interpretation
In Whitfield v. State of Tennessee, Judge Stranch wrote a cogent concurring opinion, urging the Sixth Circuit to sit en banc [as a group] to re-examine its isolated holding on how to interpret the ADA. Judge Stranch pointed out that eight other circuits disagree with the Sixth Circuit's early and isolated ruling requiring ADA claimants to meet a "sole reason" test applied to alleged ADA violations. Eight other circuit courts of appeal have held that a disabled person may recover for an ADA violation if she or he proves that disability was a motivating factor in discrimination -- not the sole cause. Judge Stranch pointed out that both the statutory language and the congressional history support the reasoning adopted by the other eight circuits, leaving the Sixth Circuit's interpretation an isolated and unjustifiable minority view accepted by only one other circuit.