Ivy v. Morath

State: Texas

Filed: 2016

Court: U.S. Supreme Court

Overview: The brief argued that Title II of the ADA prohibits disability-based discrimination in public “services, programs, or activities” and state and local governments may not evade Title II obligations by enlisting private entities to perform them. States and other public entities routinely rely on private entities to provide services, programs, or activities, such as operating schools, providing employment training, providing community and long-term housing and care services to people with disabilities, operating prisons, providing transportation, and more. Many of the areas in which states involve private entities to provide public services, programs, and activities are critical to ensuring that people with disabilities are able to live independently within the community, receive educational and employment opportunities, and not be denied access to basic government services and benefits.

Excerpt: “When the state administers a program of issuing an important public benefit – here, a driver’s license – by conditioning that benefit on participation in a service or program operated by a private entity, it has a Title II obligation to ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded from the program and thus the benefit…[S]tates have experimented with a variety of arrangements to deliver public services and carry out public programs and activities through private entities. When the states’ administration, policies, directives, or actions lead to or allow disability-based discrimination in those public services, programs, and activities, the plain text of the statute holds the ‘public entity’ responsible. And the regulations…make clear that a public entity’s obligations extend not just to those services and benefits it provides ‘directly,’ nor even just to programs, services, or activities operated by private entities ‘through contractual . . . arrangements’ with the state, but also to state programs, services, and activities that enlist private entities through ‘licensing, or other arrangements.’

Case Documents

Amicus Brief: Ivy v. Morath