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The Americans With Disabilities Act: Analysis And Implications Of A Second-Generation Civil Rights Statute, Robert L. Burgdorf Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote that our nation's civil rights laws were a "sparse and insufficient collection of statutes ... barely a naked framework."' On their faces, many federal civil rights statutes constitute little more than broad directives that "Thou shalt not discriminate." Broadly worded statements outlawing discrimination were the optimal approach to statutory draftsmanship in light of the controversial nature of the civil rights laws passed in the 1960s and 1970s. The drafters of these statutes needed to craft language that would be palatable to a majority of the members of Congress while still having a meaningful impact …