ADA Turned on Its Head

In a wire story, the Associated Press reports that the Supreme Court found that the ADA does not make local governments liable for damages incurred through insufficient accomodations for persons with disabilities.

As is usually the case, I think that the Supes interpreted the law correctly. But this is exactly the wrong outcome!

We have yet another situation where the government imposes burdens on free assocation between individuals - in this case, between business proprietors and customers or between employers and employees - and exempts the government from its own requirements. Whether or not a business is accessible should be up to the business; people with disabilities and anyone who cares about justice will refuse to do business with them. But in the same breath, we say that the government itself doesn't have to be accessible to all citizens!

That's completely outrageous and totally counter to any sensible interpretation of government. If the government doesn't have to be accessible to its citizens, to whom must it be open? And if the government isn't accessible, what right do lawmakers have to require that any other entity be?