Supreme Court dodges major ruling over inmate rights


By GINA HOLLAND
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON- The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that a Georgia inmate should get a fresh chance to prove that the state owes him damages for not accommodating his disability.

But justices stopped short of deciding a broader question: whether states can be sued for damages by inmates under the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the court, said that lower courts should reconsider the case of 41-year-old Georgia inmate Tony Goodman, who contends he was kept for more than 23 hours a day in a cell so narrow he could not turn his wheelchair.

Goodman had been supported in the case by the Bush administration.

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