Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Have a Feeling We're Not in Texas Anymore

According to the website DisabilityInfo.gov the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against JPI Construction L.P. and six JPI-affiliated companies in U.S. District Court in Dallas for failing to provide accessible features required by the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act at multi-family housing developments in Texas and other states.

The defendant has allegedly built more than 200 apartment, condominium and other housing complexes in 26 states as well as the District of Columbia. According to the DOJ's press release, the suit seeks a court order requiring the defendants to modify the complexes to bring them into compliance with federal disability access laws. The suit also seeks monetary damages and a civil penalty.

It is well known that the Obama administration is going to make enforcement of civil rights, accessibility and employment laws a top priority, and signs of this have already appeared.

Most noteworthy, however, is that one of the first such strikes is in the heart of the very state where the former occupant of the Oval Office once ruled.

This announcement, especially when juxtaposed with the White House's recent announcement it intends to review Bush's 'signing statements,' makes it pretty clear that we're not in Texas anymore, Toto.


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