A commentator on a public radio program recently spoke in favor of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") by asserting that "[t]he blind, deaf, and crippled really do deserve our help."' Although this commentator purported to support the ADA, his actual message was that the definition of "disability" in the Act is excessively vague and allows individuals not "deserving" of legal protection, such as persons with back impairments and mental impairments, to, in his words, "[hitch] a ride on the disability bandwagon."2 His argument that the ADA should reach only the claims of "deserving" individuals with disabilities has had powerful resonance since the enactment of the ADA. Recent United States Supreme Court rulings restricting the ADA's protected class demonstrate the persuasiveness of this argument

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