January 29, 1999
Stephanie A. Daniel
Assistant Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
Via mail and fax
Re: Olmstead v. L. C., No. 98-536
Dear Ms. Daniel:
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not wish to join the brief on the merits which Florida has prepared in the above case.
Executive Deputy Attorney General [State of Pennsylvania]
Director, Civil Law Division Litigation Section
69 East Beau Street
Washington, PA 15301
Re: L. C. and E. W. v. Olmstead
Dear Ms. Kleinman:
The issues pending before the United States Supreme Court in the above captioned case have been brought before me for consideration. The question before me is whether Pennsylvania should join on an amicus brief to be filed by the state of Florida. I have thoroughly considered the issues, consulted with Governor Tom Ridge, who has recommended that we not join, and I have listened to residents of the Commonwealth who have views and opinions on both sides.
After full consideration as outlined above, I have decided as Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, not to join in the amicus brief to be filed before the United States Supreme Court in this case.
Very truly yours,
D. Michael Fisher
Attorney General [State of Pennsylvania]
Overwhelming pressure from the forces of ADAPT all over the state of Pennsylvania ended today in victory for the people. Letters, phone calls and email to the Attorney General's WEB page resulted in a teleconference call with the Attorney General Fisher (Governor hopeful) on Thursday, January 28. On the one hour call, 18 ADAPTERS made the demand that he provide us with a copy of a letter that would result in PA being removed from any Amicus Brief that would challenge the ADA on the issue of "the most integrated setting." The Attorney General listened to the people and the severe threat that they faced but refused to make a decision until the following week (February 1).
During the call, ADAPT gave him a strict deadline of 10 AM the following day, January 29. The Attorney General missed that deadline. At 1 PM on January 29, FIVE state offices were hit by ADAPT, totalling over 100 troops statewide. The cities hit were Harrisburg, Erie, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Wilkes-Barre.
The ADAPT crowd of 20 in Pittsburgh found him and cornered him!
As SW PA ADAPT entered the parking lot, the attendant told us that the Attorney General had been asking him repeatedly all morning whether or not he had seen any folks in wheelchairs. Obviously, he was worried that we just might show up if he had missed the deadline. We blocked in his van with an ADAPT van with a wink from the parking attendant. We got past a security door when the receptionist used the buzzer to let a caller in. She was shocked when she saw what she had just done. TOO LATE!
After a short delay in which we were able to address the local TV news, the Attorney General responded to our chants of "I'd rather go to jail than die in a nursing home!" Attorney General Fisher came out to address us. One by one, each of the people said their name and made our demand more clear. Checking his hand scrawled notes, he made a "nice speech" which ended in the statement that PA would come off the Olmstead brief.
The crowd cheered! We asked him to place his words to us in writing with >his signature (letter below) and for the official letter taking PA off the brief (second letter below). We were in contact with the ADAPT groups in the other cities by cell phone to share the excitement during the wait. Within a short time, both letters were delivered to us and each was faxed to all the other ADAPT groups in the other cities. ANOTHER VICTORY TO CELEBRATE!
The people UNITED will never be DEFEATED!
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