Disability Rights and The Louisiana Constitution

28 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2021 Last revised: 29 Oct 2021

Date Written: November 14, 2020


The Louisiana Constitution contains three Equal Protection Clauses. Article I § 3 prohibits discriminatory laws; but, as an original matter, should prohibit both discriminatory laws and government conduct. Article I § 12 prohibits discrimination by individuals (government or private) in regard to access to public places. Finally, Article I § 2, the Due Process Clause, also contains an Equal Protection component. Each clause prohibits discrimination on the basis of “physical condition,” which contains a general “disability” component. Based upon statements from the Louisiana Constitutional Convention and other modalities of constitutional argument, this article concludes that these clauses—individually or in conjunction—contain prohibitions on the following forms of disability discrimination: disparate treatment, failure to make reasonable accommodations or modifications, disparate impact, and failure to integrate or unjustified institutionalization. Realizing such components of the State Constitution would have significant and broad impacts—ranging from accessible parking tags to the death penalty.

Suggested Citation

Warden, Derek, Disability Rights and The Louisiana Constitution (November 14, 2020). Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 4, 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3730757 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3730757

Derek Warden (Contact Author)

Louisiana Supreme Court ( email )

400 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
United States

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