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Socio-Legal Backlash

  • Author(s): Krieger, Linda Hamilton
  • et al.

Over the past three years, an increasing number of disability rights activists, practitioners, and scholarly commentators have claimed that a powerful judicial and media backlash against the Americans with Disabilities Act is underway. Even before issuance of three Supreme Court decisions in the Summer of 1999 narrowly construing the Act's coverage, there existed ample evidence supporting the backlash hypothesis. In two papers, a Foreword and an Afterword, Professor Krieger frames an interdisciplinary symposium on public, judicial, and media responses to the Americans with Disabilities Act soon to appear in the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law. In the first article, Backlash Against the Americans with Disabilities Act: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Implications for Social Justice Strategies, Professor Krieger situates the intellectual project undertaken by the Symposium and introduces the fourteen articles and three responsive commentaries that comprise it. In the second paper, Socio-Legal Backlash, Professor Krieger posits a theoretical model of socio-legal change and retrenchment, situates the concept of backlash within that model, and applies the model to investigate and explain patterns of public, judicial and media reactions to the ADA.

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