Section 1983 Under Attack

Reuters reported on an important case in front of the Supreme Court. Right now residents of nursing homes may sue for violations of their rights under Section 1983. Section 1983 of the U.S. Code allows individuals to sue government entities that violate their legal rights.

The case involved the care and placement of Gorgi Talevski at Valparaiso Care in violation of the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (FHNRA). FHNRA established a “bill of rights” for residents of nursing homes receiving Medicaid funding.

Defendants argued that Section 1983 cannot be used to enforce rights that are created as a condition of receiving federal funds. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that argument. However, the alt-right Supreme Court agreed to hear the defendants’ appeal.

Bad news for nursing home residents nationwide. Recipients of government programs will lose their rights. The Supreme Court may take away more rights from American citizens.

Seniors advocacy groups, the AARP, the American Public Health Association and American College of Preventive Medicine and top Democrats in Congressional committee chairs filed amicus briefs in support of the lawsuit.

On Nov. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC) v. Talevski. A bad ruling will strip away the legal rights and protections of vulnerable citizens, including people with disabilities.