“The Justice Department must remain ever faithful to the Constitution’s promise that our government is one of laws, not of men. It will be my unyielding commitment, if I am confirmed, to see that the laws are enforced faithfully, effectively, and impartially.”
– Jeff Sessions in his opening remarks during his Confirmation Hearing
Nothing is more fundamental to American values than the assumption that Americans live in freedom. The Constitution was written and amended to ensure that Americans are guaranteed Life and Liberty as promised by the Declaration of Independence. Even so, Disabled Americans are denied Life and Liberty every day when states and private insurance companies force them into unwanted institutionalization.
This problem is dramatically amplified in the aftermath of a disaster. While there has been public outrage over the deaths of nursing facility residents following natural disasters, few people realize that individuals with disabilities who had lived independently in the community before disasters are directed and transferred into nursing facilities – often far from family and supports – where they die.
Today, ADAPT of Texas demands that Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
· Acknowledge that unwanted institutionalization denies Disabled Americans their Constitutional right to Liberty;
· Work with ADAPT and the Disability Rights community to pursue high-profile Olmstead/ADA enforcement actions in every state to address the institutionalization of thousands of people with disabilities – of all ages – in nursing facilities;
· Work with ADAPT and Autistic advocates to stop the torture of Disabled Americans in the Judge Rotenberg Center who are subjected to electric shocks and other painful aversives; and
· Work with ADAPT and the National Council on Independent Living to address the unnecessary and unwanted institutionalization that results when communities are impacted by natural disasters.