Skip to content

Allen & Overy files brief in support of disability rights in Supreme Court

Allen & Overy’s U.S. litigation team co-authored an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States to help preserve long-standing rights to challenge policies that have an adverse impact on people with disabilities.  

A&O partnered with disability rights advocates, including The Arc of the United States (“The Arc”), the American Association of People with Disabilities (“AAPD”), the American Civil Liberties Union, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, as well as numerous other organizations, to argue that the Supreme Court should not overrule or limit long-standing case law and federal rules interpreting Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and similar statutes that ensure that individuals with disabilities have meaningful access to federally funded programs and benefits. 

John Roberti, a Washington, D.C. based Partner at Allen & Overy, said: “A&O strongly supports a community where everyone can participate and succeed, and this means ensuring meaningful access to key programs and benefits regardless of disability. It was an honor to work alongside these organizations that have been tireless advocates to guarantee meaningful access for all. As the father of a teenager with special needs, I know how important this work is, and I’m grateful to the firm for its support.”

Justin Ormand, an associate with the firm who, along with our co-counsel Amy Robertson and Claudia Center, was one of the principal authors of the brief, said: “It was very gratifying to be able to work with these talented lawyers and produce such a persuasive brief.” 

The case involved a pharmacy benefits program that constrains the ability of individuals who rely on employer-sponsored health plans for HIV/AIDS medication to obtain their drugs through specialty pharmacies. This program prevents participants from accessing in-network prices, speaking with pharmacists who are familiar with their medical histories, and monitoring their treatment plans. The Defendant appealed to the Supreme Court after a lower court ruled that plan participants could pursue a claim for violating Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

In a major victory for the disability rights community, on November 10, 2021, the case was withdrawn from the Supreme Court’s docket.

Additional details on the filing can be found here.