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STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL ROWE REGARDING FILING OF MOTION IN MENTALLY ILL VOTING RIGHTS CASE
August 23, 2001
AUGUST 23, 2001
CONTACT: Charles Dow, Director, Communications And Legislative Affairs 207-626-8577
On August 23, the Attorney General's Office filed a motion to amend the August 9 order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine in the case that invalidated a provision of the Maine Constitution that barred persons under guardianship for mental illness from voting. The motion does not seek to change that result, and its filing does not constitute an appeal of the case.
Attorney General Rowe stated: "At this juncture, we have not sought to change the outcome of this case. Rather, we have asked the judge to modify that part of his order that holds that the State's sovereign immunity does not extend to claims presented under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
"It is not unusual for a party to request modification of a court order when a party believes that a particular aspect of the order is contrary to established law. We are troubled by part of the court's order because it may unnecessarily erode the State's sovereignty in future litigation under federal law."