Leading a coalition of seven states, Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to protect critical state social service agencies from federal overreach. A federal trial court already rejected the federal government’s claims that it can control state services by suing the states for alleged violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  

“We’re asking the 11th Circuit to uphold the lower court’s ruling and prevent overreach by the federal government,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Congress had every reason to believe that federal enforcement of the ADA against the states themselves was not necessary because every state in the union has a history of protecting disabled citizens from discrimination that pre-dates the ADA. Title II of the ADA provides legal recourse to any person alleging discrimination under the law, and that in itself serves as a substantial enforcement procedure.”  

In the brief supporting Florida in A.R., et al., v. Secretary, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, et al., Attorney General Paxton and his counterparts point out that Title II of the ADA imposes significant costs by giving individuals the ability to seek and obtain review of state-run public services in federal courts.

“Allowing the U.S. government to bring suit would significantly add to these already substantial federalism costs by introducing into litigation against the state a separate branch of the federal government,” the coalition wrote. “These additional costs would be especially intrusive if the federal government could seek broader relief than could an individual plaintiff.”

View the amicus brief