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Portland disabled residents are suing city for ‘result of the City’s policies’

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 Ten disabled plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit  in U.S. District Court last week that accuses the City of Portland of its “systemic failure to provide full and equal access to its sidewalks to Plaintiffs and similarly situated persons with mobility disabilities.”

Specifically, Portland has allowed the homeless to take over public sidewalks and criminals to run wild.

National Review  reports specifics on a few of the plaintiffs:

A 66-year-old woman who had a bottle thrown at her as she maneuvered around a Portland, Ore. homeless camp in her electric wheelchair.

A 62-year-old longtime Portland resident who relies on a wheelchair and a service dog, and who was assaulted, spat on, and sprayed with mace by homeless people in her neighborhood.

A 47-year-old man with a visual disability who walks in the busy street to get around the tents and garbage that clog the sidewalks in his Portland neighborhood.

The lawsuit states:

The City has failed and continues to fail to maintain its sidewalks clear of debris and tent encampments, which is necessary to make its sidewalks readily accessible to people with mobility disabilities. Indeed, a substantial number of the City’s sidewalks—particularly those in the City’s busiest business corridors—do not comply with applicable federal statutes and regulations because they are blocked by tent encampments and attendant debris, rendering the sidewalks inaccessible, dangerous, and unsanitary for people with mobility disabilities.

The City’s sidewalks are a fundamental public program, service, or activity that the City provides for the benefit of its residents and visitors. Clear and readily accessible sidewalks are necessary to permit people with mobility disabilities to independently, fully, and meaningfully participate in all aspects of society, including employment, housing, education, transportation, public accommodations, and recreation, among others. Accordingly, readily accessible sidewalks are essential to realizing the integration mandate of disability non-discrimination laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (the “Rehabilitation Act”).

Plaintiffs are individuals with mobility disabilities or caretakers for individuals with mobility disabilities who live or work in Portland, and who are being denied full and equal access to the City’s sidewalks and subjected to unlawful or hazardous conditions.

The denial of meaningful, equal, and safe access to the City’s sidewalks for persons with mobility disabilities complained of in this Complaint is the direct result of the City’s policies, procedures, and practices with regard to sidewalks and unsheltered persons. The City has failed to adopt or implement reasonable administrative methods, policies, and procedures for inspecting, clearing, and maintaining the sidewalks, as required by the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.

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Nation

Multiple states launch lawsuit against Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan

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Breaking Thursday, the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, and South Carolina joined together to file a lawsuit against President Biden’s administration in order to stop the student loan-forgiveness program from taking effect.

“In addition to being economically unwise and downright unfair, the Biden Administration’s Mass Debt Cancellation is yet another example in a long line of unlawful regulatory actions,” argued the plaintiffs in their filing.

The attorneys general spearheading the legal challenge also submit that “no statute permits President Biden to unilaterally relieve millions of individuals from their obligation to pay loans they voluntarily assumed.”

Biden, however, has argued that he is able to unilaterally cancel student debt to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, writes National Review, a Department of Education memo released by his administration asserts that the HEROES Act,  which passed in 2003 and allows the secretary of education to provide student-debt relief “in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency,” provides the legal basis for the cancellation.

But, National Review notes that the plaintiffs point out that Biden declared in a recent 60 Minutes interview that “the pandemic is over.”

The legal brief also adds:

“The [HEROES] Act requires ED [Education Department] to tailor any waiver or modification as necessary to address the actual financial harm suffered by a borrower due to the relevant military operation or emergency… This relief comes to every borrower regardless of whether her income rose or fell during the pandemic or whether she is in a better position today as to her student loans than before the pandemic.”

Moreover, they argue that the HEROES Act was designed to allow the secretary to provide relief in individual cases with proper justification.

The first lawsuit against Biden’s executive order came Tuesday from the Pacific Legal Foundation:

“The administration has created new problems for borrowers in at least six states that tax loan cancellation as income. People like Plaintiff Frank Garrison will actually be worse off because of the cancellation. Indeed, Mr. Garrison will face immediate tax liability from the state of Indiana because of the automatic cancellation of a portion of his debt,” wrote PLF in their own brief.

The state-led lawsuit was filed in a federal district court in Missouri, and asks that the court “temporarily restrain and preliminarily and permanently enjoin implementation and enforcement of the Mass Debt Cancellation,” and declare that it “violates the separation of powers established by the U.S. Constitution,” as well as the Administrative Procedure Act.

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