A Georgia inmate should get a fresh chance to prove that the state owes him damages for not accommodating his disability, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today, reports the Associated Press. The court said state prisoners whose constitutional rights are violated behind bars can win damages. The AP says justices stopped short of deciding whether states can be opened to broader suits under the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act.
Justice Antonin Scalia said for a unanimous court that lower courts must reconsider the case of inmate Tony Goodman, 41, who contends he was kept for more than 23 hours a day in a cell so narrow he could not turn his wheelchair. Goodman was supported by the Bush administration, which argued that lawsuits should be allowed under the disabilities act.