E-Alerts & Press Releases

PJC Briefs Disabled Olympian Athletes' Claim for Equal Support to U.S. Supreme Court

On July 3, 2008, Murnaghan Fellow Gregory Care filed an amicus brief in support of a certiorari petition in the U.S. Supreme Court in the disability rights case of Hollonbeck et al. v. United States Olympic Commission. This case addresses the disparity between the benefits and support the U.S. Olympic Commission (USOC) offers to Olympians and Paralympians, the elite amateur athletes the USOC is charged with developing for international competition. To this end, the USOC provides to the athletes an array of benefits and services, such as health insurance, tuition assistance, general monetary support to allow athletes to train full-time, and monetary awards for winning medals. Unfortunately, the USOC withholds many of these benefits from athletes with disabilities who compete in the Paralympic Games. The PJC’s amicus brief highlights the importance of the case to the Court by taking the USOC to task for its discrimination against our nation’s finest athletes with disabilities and discussing the tremendous impact the USOC’s policy has on Paralympians, young people with disabilities seeking role models, and American society’s perceptions of people with disabilities. The PJC, with its co-counsel, Professor Samuel Bagenstos from Washington University in St. Louis, represented a strong group of amici including disability, civil rights, and sports equity organizations, as well as former members of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams. The amici are the National Federation of the Blind, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Disability Rights Advocates, The Legal Center for People with Disabilities, American Association of Adapted Sports Programs, Women’s Sports Foundation, Rafael Ibarra, Karin Korb, Tom Petranoff, and the Public Justice Center.

« Back