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[P]
Casey Martin Wins Court Case

By dze27 in News
Thu May 31, 2001 at 03:10:05 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that Casey Martin, a golfer with a disability, has the right to ride a golf cart on the PGA (Professional Golfer's Association) Tour. This sets a potentially far-reaching precedent for Americans with Disabilities.

Martin's disability, Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome makes walking extremely difficult and painful. The PGA Tour does not allow golfers to ride power carts during PGA events, and Martin requires one in order to compete. Martin sued to win the right to ride a cart, and won the case. The PGA Tour appealed, which led to today's upholding of that ruling.


The justices who wrote the majority opinion seemed to have missed the point, saying that walking is a "peripheral" activity in golf. The fact is, since the game is defined to include walking, then walking is not "peripheral"; it is a fundamental part of the game. In addition, many professional golfers have gone on record saying that walking 20-25 miles over the course of a 4-day tournament is significantly tiring.

The majority opinion also included the point that Martin riding a cart could not be an advantage since he is already fatigued from his disability. This seems to be an extremely subjective opinion. No one know what the exact advantage would be. And there is a grave danger in a ruling partially based on Casey Martin's exact fatigue level with or without a cart. What about the next person to use a cart -- how fatigued would they be? How much of an advantage would they get? Then there is the issue of athletes with temporary disabilities, or even, say, sprained ankles? Where will the line be drawn?

It seems odd that the term "discrimination" could be used to describe the practice of not letting Martin ride a cart. Discrimination occurs when one is not allowed to enter at all. This is not the case at all; Martin absolutely has the right to play on the PGA Tour, just like everyone else who qualified (Martin was allowed to use a golf cart in the golf "minor leagues" where he qualified for the PGA Tour). Unfortunately, he has to follow the same rules as everyone else. The fact that walking is painful for him is sad, but walking is absolutely a part of the game of golf, which is whatever the PGA defines it to be.

The major problem with the use of the Americans With Disabilities Act seems to be with the intent of the Act. The Act is meant to cover everyday people doing everyday things, which is laudable. It was surely not meant to provide exceptions in very exceptional circumstances. Professional sports in general are extraordinarily demanding -- no attempts should be made to level the playing field or otherwise equalize things for the weaker.

To wrap up, I'd like to hear what other K5ers have to say on this issue. Agree? Disagree? Will this ruling affect many other cases? Have at it!

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Poll
Should Casey Martin be allowed to ride a golf cart in PGA Events?
o Yes 40%
o No 60%

Votes: 105
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o U.S. Supreme Court ruled today
o PGA
o Klippel-Tr enaunay-Weber Syndrome
o upholding of that ruling
o Also by dze27


Display: Sort:
Casey Martin Wins Court Case | 106 comments (105 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Show Me The Green (2.71 / 7) (#1)
by SEWilco on Tue May 29, 2001 at 08:32:31 PM EST

Landing on the green is a peripheral activity in my golf game. So I should be allowed to use an exoskeleton so I'm able to participate in PGA events.

huh? (2.00 / 1) (#3)
by Seumas on Tue May 29, 2001 at 08:59:32 PM EST

How is looking like a cockroach going to help you land on the green?
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]
Oh (2.00 / 1) (#14)
by SEWilco on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:32:38 PM EST

Of course, my exoskeleton would be a golf model. It would perform the perfect golf swing.

(And one doesn't have to look like a bug. The most recent example was on FOX's "Dark Angel". Or maybe you were thinking of "Mantis".)

[ Parent ]

cliche (2.50 / 10) (#2)
by Seumas on Tue May 29, 2001 at 08:50:46 PM EST

I know this is a cliche statement regarding this issue, but I never understood how anyone could claim he had an unfair advantage over the other players. We're not talking peak-condition athletes and steroids here. We're talking middle-aged guys with guts who walk around a golf course and whack at a ball every ten minutes. Let them all ride carts for that matter. I don't see what it matters. If you cease eating pretzels and burritos for six months, you'd have an advantage over most of the golfers, too.

I'm surprised it ever had to go to the Supreme Court. I'm curious -- do they allow golfers to wear glasses? That seems extremely unfair to the rest of the golfers.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

No (4.00 / 2) (#45)
by trhurler on Wed May 30, 2001 at 11:53:11 AM EST

Perhaps you should watch some golf sometime. I don't like watching it, but I have done so because my grandparents like to watch it. Most of the golfers who aren't on the seniors tour are in fairly good shape. Some of them(Tiger Woods comes to mind,) are in better shape than most professional athletes in any sport.

Of course, all the people commenting who've never played are pretty damned funny too(I bet eLuddite has never played 18, and if he did, I bet he didn't walk.) It isn't hard to walk 25 miles; I can do it in about half a day if push comes to shove. However, it is an entirely different matter to swing a golf club such that the head speed makes fastballs look slow and yet be dead on accurate when you've just arrived at the course and then to do so again when your legs hurt, you're tired, and you've been out in the sun all day. (Incidentally, this is why pudgy out of shape losers don't make it in the PGA.) Now, the court claims that this one golfer already suffers from these things. That's fine, except that he himself admits that sometimes it is almost unbearable, and other times it isn't nearly as bad - if he rides around all day and then feels good at the end and wins, is that fair to the guys who worked muscles all day, sweated from their muscular exertions in the heat, and so on?

Or, put another way, if this guy wins, everyone, including him, can now say, "Yeah, but it wasn't fair, so who cares?" And if he loses, he lost, even though he had an advantage. It's like fighting a kid half your size. Not his fault he's small, but it isn't yours either.

The ADA needs to go for a lot of reasons, and this really isn't a significant one. Far more important are the thousands of small businesses it has closed, the hundreds of millions of dollars it has wasted, and the fact that it has not really significantly helped most disabled people. (Think about this: the single greatest impact has been wheelchair ramps. Exactly how many people do you see wandering around the grocery store or Sears or whatever pushing a cart in a wheelchair? Considering what they can carry, they'd have to go to the store every other day just to keep fed! There are better solutions to that sort of problem.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You're an idiot (3.00 / 1) (#75)
by physicsgod on Thu May 31, 2001 at 04:23:01 PM EST

But I'm going to ingore your last paragraph entirely. You contradict yourslef right in the first paragraph, if golfers are such paragons of fitness (and I agree that they are rather fit) why would it be strenuous for them to walk ~6 miles a day in 2-300 yard chunks with a ~5 min stop between each chunk? I can do that easily and I don't consider myself in great shape.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
no-bot (4.00 / 1) (#103)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 06:07:14 PM EST

Jesus Christ, you're not human, you're an ideological robot!

The ADA needs to go for a lot of reasons...the fact that it has not really significantly helped most disabled people...There are better solutions to that sort of problem.

This is ridiculous. You pulled that "fact" right out of your ass. What are these "better solutions" of yours? Do you even know any wheelchair-bound U.S. citizens? Next thing you'll be telling us how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were not just unnecessary but nefarious, because there were (unspecified) superior market-driven solutions available.

Sincerely exasperated, WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

stint grits
darts file
gratis ways to fit tins
dapper angle
ill apple
-Barbara Baracks

[ Parent ]

is this a troll? (1.76 / 13) (#4)
by eLuddite on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:08:29 PM EST

That the PGA went as far as the Supreme Court to defend the rules of their silly tournament, affecting no one but a handful of middle age fucks without a sense of fashion is indicative of nothing more than the exercise of fatuous privilege.

Discrimination occurs when one is not allowed to enter at all.

You are claiming the rules permit anyone to play when, in fact, permission is meaningless if the rules effectively prevent a disabled person from playing at all.

In addition, many professional golfers have gone on record saying that walking 20-25 miles over the course of a 4-day tournament is significantly tiring.

Huh? Maybe they should pump aluminum or something. Here's an idea: why dont you stick a calorimeter up their asses and see if there's a significant difference between their and Martin's physical exertions.

---
God hates human rights.

yes but look at the BIG PICTURE! (1.00 / 1) (#51)
by xarwin on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:44:34 PM EST

That the PGA went as far as the Supreme Court to defend the rules of their silly tournament, affecting no one but a handful of middle age fucks without a sense of fashion is indicative of nothing more than the exercise of fatuous privilege.

You know what? I totally agree, but the fact is, it isn't really about golf or the PGA... the controversy is about Uncle Sam sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. I know you're Canadian, but imagine if (and it doesn't seem a hell of a long way off, judging by this nonsense) the supreme court decided to force you to put a wheelchair ramp on your porch under the ADA...

Why not? They've got their proverbial foot in the door. But, you argue, I own my house, and it is private property. Well well well, that won't stop them will it? No. Sucks, doesn't it?

... Just ask the PGA.


"Times are bad. Children are disobeying their parents and everyone is writing a book." - Marcus Tullius Cicero
[ Parent ]

Bah (4.09 / 11) (#6)
by cp on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:15:34 PM EST

It seems odd that the term "discrimination" could be used to describe the practice of not letting Martin ride a cart. Discrimination occurs when one is not allowed to enter at all. This is not the case at all, Martin absolutely has the right to play on the PGA Tour, just like everyone else who qualified
You apparently fail to grasp the entire purpose and execution of the Americans with Disabilities Act: every time the act is invoked, it is in an instance where an individual, were it not for his disability, would be able to function just fine. By your reasoning, it would be unnecessary to install elevators in highrises, because those in wheelchairs are not being discriminated against; they reserve the right to walk up the stairs like everyone else.

You're also wrong when you claim the ADA was not meant to cover exceptional circumstances. The ADA was fully intended to cover exceptional circumstances, since that's pretty much by definition what the disabled are: an exception. What's special about this ruling is how it applies the ADA to participants alongside other clients and customers. You left that out.

As noted in the opinion, the caloric expenditure for walking a golf course is only 500 calories over a 5-hour period with ample time for refreshment and rest. To say fatigue is an fundamental element of golf is like saying opening the front door without mechanical assistance is a fundamental element of grocery shopping.

And moreover, the idea that we cannot know whether Casey Martin is sufficiently fatigued by his disability is patently absurd. It's a straight-forward medical decision of the sort that courts consider everyday. If you won't give Martin his dues because of some paranoid fear that some other less clear example might someday materialize, then you're violating one too many fundamentals of justice.

counterpoint (3.00 / 3) (#13)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:28:19 PM EST

By your reasoning, it would be unnecessary to install elevators in highrises, because those in wheelchairs are not being discriminated against; they reserve the right to walk up the stairs like everyone else.
I am going to refute this and this alone, as the rest of your arguments seemed fairly sound, or I just don't care or know enough to refute them. :-) But this likening Martin's situation with people in wheelchairs in highrises is a bit unfair. Such people are clearly unable to simply walk up the stairs. In Martin's case, he can walk, but it is just very painful. Maybe it isn't fair that he can not participate without the pain like everyone else, but it isn't fair to everyone else if he gets a cart and they don't.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
parry, riposte (4.00 / 3) (#25)
by cp on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:50:20 AM EST

Read the decision. I quote:
Walking not only caused him pain, fatigue, and anxiety, but also created a significant risk of hemorrhaging, developing blood clots, and fracturing his tibia so badly that an amputation might be required.
I suppose you feel differently about amputations than about chronic pain. I'd even stand by my opinion in the latter, though the court doesn't have to go that far in reaching the decision it did.

[ Parent ]
disabilities act (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by mattc on Thu May 31, 2001 at 01:13:42 AM EST

You apparently fail to grasp the entire purpose and execution of the Americans with Disabilities Act: every time the act is invoked, it is in an instance where an individual, were it not for his disability, would be able to function just fine. By your reasoning, it would be unnecessary to install elevators in highrises

The government should not be allowed to force people to install ramps, elevators, oversized toilets, or whatever else in any private establishment. It is not our job to provide for every potential problem people might happen to have... especially when the expenses are extremely high as in the case of providing special ramps and elevators for wheelchair people.

If disabled people can't get in a business then the business will lose that customer! Seems pretty straightforward to me.

[ Parent ]

there should be a stupidities act (3.00 / 1) (#65)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 04:23:38 AM EST

That will be $20, 35 cents and 3 ideals please, hold equality.

It is not our job to provide for every potential problem people might happen to have

Who are these people and what makes you think you arent or cannot become one of them by virtue of any "potential" problem? What are these onerous provisions that make you unfree for their satisfaction?

If disabled people can't get in a business then the business will lose that customer!

Except that there is a disabilities act precisely because business has found it cheaper to ignore disabled people than accomodate them; the ADA is not a figment of thin air. Since govt should act to oppose the will of the majority, you must be advocating a different form of govt than is republican democracy.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

That's a strange definition of government (3.00 / 1) (#68)
by Tim C on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:58:00 AM EST

govt should act to oppose the will of the majority

So whatever happened to "government of the people, for the people, by the people"?

Surely the whole point of a democracticaly elected government is to enforce the will of the majority, not oppose it?



Cheers,

Tim

[ Parent ]
yes, that was a sentence belch (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:26:10 AM EST

Should have read oppose the "tyranny of the majority", a well known preoccupation of Jeffereson et al addressed by their choice of a representative democracy instead of a strict rule by popular referendum.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

will of the majority should be tyranny of same (3.00 / 1) (#69)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:58:18 AM EST

Not nearly enough text here to justify the subject's exposition. But I will add this: ADA is concerned with public accomodations, not merely those tied to a business. Are you suggesting a reason for believing business is exempt from social obligations? What might that reason be?

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Does stupidity count as a disability? (3.00 / 1) (#78)
by Robert Hutchinson on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:44:26 PM EST

It is not our job to provide for every potential problem people might happen to have
Who are these people and what makes you think you arent or cannot become one of them by virtue of any "potential" problem? What are these onerous provisions that make you unfree for their satisfaction?
What makes you think that one who opposes special treatment by means of law would necessarily change their mind if they became a potentional benefactor of said treatment? I am fat, and no theater or airline in the world should be forced to accommodate my "seating needs." If they aren't big enough, tough luck for me.

As for "onerous" provisions, curtailments of freedom need not be onerous, and indeed, they rarely begin as such. I am not willing to compromise with someone who believes 2+2=5 if the compromise requires me to agree that 2+2=4.001. Doing so would be wrong, foolish, and dishonest.

If disabled people can't get in a business then the business will lose that customer!
Except that there is a disabilities act precisely because business has found it cheaper to ignore disabled people than accomodate them
Sounds good to me. Businesses exist to make money, disabled people have no inherent right to have access to all businesses ... everyone is treated justly. (I would say fairly, but that word has been sufficiently tainted in this discussion.)

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

good bye and thanks for all the platitudes (2.00 / 1) (#83)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:18:21 PM EST

Sounds good to me. Businesses exist to make money,

Yes, and man exists to eat, shit and respirate. We have the freedom to mix the particular order, of course.

everyone is treated justly

Yes, but some people make a point of ensuring injustice for no good reason at all except the right to make money while breathing. Eating. Shitting.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Trick is... (3.00 / 1) (#89)
by cpt kangarooski on Thu May 31, 2001 at 09:55:34 PM EST

That businesses do not, however, have any intrinsic right to exist or make money. Although the handicapped may not have any intrinsic right to have access to a business, the government which must represent and serve them does have the power to prevent that business from existing unless it grants such access.

Given the choice between complying and granting access, or dissenting and being shut down, well, it's not to hard to see that the end result is still pretty much the same, and no one's inherent rights have been ignored.

As for justice v. fairness, I'd say that the best distinction would be that justice is what's right and fairness is what's equitable. In that case, you've got them backwards. Your solution is equitable to both parties, but does not grant the handicapped enough benefits to make up for their deficiencies and permit them to participate as fully in society as possible. That is, it's not just.

I'll take the just and unfair option instead - do what's possible to permit handicapped people to function at the same level as ordinary people even if it incurs a small burden. This isn't saying that we should strive for the lowest common denominator, but that we should give people a hand when they're down.

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Just a second ... (2.00 / 1) (#95)
by Robert Hutchinson on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 07:38:45 PM EST

That businesses do not, however, have any intrinsic right to exist or make money. Although the handicapped may not have any intrinsic right to have access to a business, the government which must represent and serve them does have the power to prevent that business from existing unless it grants such access.
I do not use "rights" and "abilities" as synonyms. I have a right to buy any drug I can imagine. I do not, however, have the ability to do so. Rights are violated--never removed.
As for justice v. fairness, I'd say that the best distinction would be that justice is what's right and fairness is what's equitable. In that case, you've got them backwards. Your solution is equitable to both parties, but does not grant the handicapped enough benefits to make up for their deficiencies and permit them to participate as fully in society as possible. That is, it's not just.
After looking up "equitable", I find that it is synonymous with "just."
we should give people a hand when they're down
Bear in mind that I would prefer as many businesses as possible to accommodate the disabled. I simply am not willing to force them to do so.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

... possibly projection (none / 0) (#105)
by coffee17 on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 04:35:01 PM EST

What makes you think that one who opposes special treatment by means of law would necessarily change their mind if they became a potentional benefactor of said treatment?

My personal guess to this is because most people are so hypocritical they project these hypocracies onto other people. Whenever I suggest that it might be a good thing if people guaranteed to be bad parents were just given a quick vasectomy/tubal ligation to solve the issue everyone I've talked with assumes that I put myself into the breeding category of people, when I know that I'd likely be a horrible dad, and for a variety of reasons have already had myself snipped.

I am not willing to compromise with someone who believes 2+2=5 if the compromise requires me to agree that 2+2=4.001. Doing so would be wrong, foolish, and dishonest.

Of course, the public schools have already settled into this pattern, and it just seemingly keeps getting worse. I think that sooner or later, people have to wake up and realize that our country was founded on a flawed premise, that of "all men are created equal." All people are not equal. Some aren't smart, some have a conscience, some are ugly, some are fat, some have cancer, some have allergies, some have bad vision, some have diabetes, and some have the bad luck to have all these ailments (having a conscience is definately a disability in a capitalist society). We are not equal. Some stupid highschool ogre does not have a right to be in the chemistry class because his mom thinks he'll need it for college, when all he does is slow down the rest of the class because he couldn't solve "4 times X equals 4. What is X?" (luckily after 2 weeks he was removed). Similarly, as I'm horribly out of shape I do not have a right to demand 5 minutes of playtime during the all important city championship because I'm disabled (whether voluntary or involuntary doesn't matter in my mind).

Perhaps as a non-sports enthrusiast I'm missing something, but I thought that the reason for watching most sports (not counting little league where the only spectators are parents and pedophiles) is to watch the best of the fields. If you have to make special exceptions then you are not dealing with the best. Sure, it might not be touch for the average 25 year old to walk 24 miles over 4 days, but for some 60 year old pro golfer it sure is, and I'm wagering that they're pissed as hell about this. But, soon being too old will be a disability, which will let them zoom around in golf carts.

It's annoying that this issue comes up for something so trivial (in my mind) as golf, but there must come a time in life when one has to either acknowledge one's shortcomings. If you are too old to climb up the stairs leading to your favorite strip club, then pay the owner to put in a ramp, or lobby a large enough group of people to make it worth the manager's while to build a ramp. Similarly, let the ultimate dullards graduate at 8th grade, and lets get rid of the thousands of crap students filling the state colleges, learning shit, and then making it a bit harder for those who've actually earned a real degree to get a job.

I'm sorry, but life isn't fair. Until people truely gain mastery over our physical surrondings life will continue to be unfair, and I doubt that as most technological countries' economys depend upon scarcity that life will ever become fair. The only real draw back is that there's no longer a place to go to found a new society based both upon generosity and technology.

-coffee


[ Parent ]

I gave this +1 only to see it discussed (2.16 / 6) (#7)
by localroger on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:16:39 PM EST

The comment itself is clueless as a one-bit novel. The object of golf is to put the ball in the hole a large distance away with the smallest number of strokes. Walking is peripheral to this. If anything, walking gives advantage because it is exercise which the cart-riders don't get. It makes sense that this should be up to the golfers.

I know that in the decade since I've swapped 50-lb pipe handle test weights for a keyboard I've gained about 50 lb and lost a lot of strength. If the guy can ride his cart and swing his club and put the ball in the hole, then more power to him. The others should stop whining and either ride carts too or work out more.

I can haz blog!

Nice absolute statements there (3.30 / 10) (#8)
by delmoi on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:23:41 PM EST

Unfortunately, he has to follow the same rules as everyone else. The fact that walking is painful for him is sad, but walking is absolutely a part of the game of golf.

Not according to the supreme court of the united states he doesn't.

If you're going to be stating 'facts' that they don't agree with you're going to have to do a little more then absolutely zero to back them up.

You say walking is an integral part of golfing. Yeh, right. People who play it amaturely don't always walk, so not walking doesn't take away from the fun. People who watch it don't give a shit about the walking. So it isn't about them either.

The court isn't supposed to look at the technical details, the court is supposed to look at the obvious. It's supposed to look at what the lawmakers meant when they wrote the laws. To them, golf isn't 'whatever the PGA says is golf' it's what people think of when they think of golf. It's a common sense definition.

Those people whining are just that, whining .
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
Running is not part of baseball (4.50 / 10) (#16)
by rusty on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:47:34 PM EST

See, I'd love to be on the side of the handicapped man here, but I do have a problem with this. You say that walking is not part of golf. Yet the PGA has a rule that players must walk between holes.

Similarly, major league baseball has a rule that players must run between bases. What happens when the first wheelchair bound baseball player wants to play in the Big Leagues? He shows up with his motorized all-terrain wheelchair, and the managers are all over him. His strike zone's about two inches wide (because he hits seated) and his chair's got a supercharged motor, so he can "run" 50 MPH.

Should he be allowed to play? No, it's not the exact same situation, but it is a very logical extension of the Martin ruling.

Here's another example: the biathalon. Competitors ski and then target shoot. This is an even clearer example of a sport where fatigue and accuracy are put head to head. What happens when a legless would-be biathelete petitions the IOC to be allowed to use a snowmobile between targets?

With the PGA being compelled to allow the carts, there are only two fair solutions. One is that all players be allowed to use carts. This significantly changes the game -- I can fully believe that the in last holes of a four-day tournament, fatigue from walking becomes a major factor. The other is that Casey Martin be compelled to propel himself around the course, by whatever means he is able. That is, he doesn't have to walk, but he can have no motorized assistance.

I don't like it much either, but maybe it is time to accept that people are different. Some people can't do things that some other people can do. It's a pretty nasty situation, either way.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

if it was snowing, we could be tobogganing (4.33 / 3) (#18)
by eLuddite on Tue May 29, 2001 at 11:55:42 PM EST

Similarly, major league baseball has a rule that players must run between bases. What happens when the first wheelchair bound baseball player wants to play in the Big Leagues?

They'll construct parallel tracks between bases, inclined at 20 degrees and slick with vaseline. Slippery slopes, if you will. Here's the thing: three levels of court disagree with you and have decided that Martin's use of a golf cart neither changes the game, nor gives Martin any unfair advantage over other players.

When Martin turned pro and entered the Q-School, he made a request, supported by detailed medical records, for permission to use a golf cart during the third stage. Petitioner refused, and Martin filed this action under Title III of the ADA, which, among other things, requires an entity operating public accommodations to make reasonable modifications in its policies when necessary to afford such accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of such accommodations.

[...]

Among its rulings, that court found that the walking rules purpose was to inject fatigue into the skill of shot-making, but that the fatigue injected by walking a golf course cannot be deemed significant under normal circumstances; determined that even with the use of a cart, the fatigue Martin suffers from coping with his disability is greater than the fatigue his able-bodied competitors endure from walking the course; and concluded that it would not fundamentally alter the nature of petitioners game to accommodate Martin.

You cannot tell me walking between holes a few times a day between intermittent breaks of sitting down and staring at the sky is such a physical challenge to other golfers that the PGA is violated by Martin's accomodations. Dont tell me golfers get tired at the end of the day, I get tired at the end of an 8 hour shift sitting on my ass. I'm sure Martin is at least as tired as the other players. Dont tell me that Martin is using a robotic arm to swing at the ball because he is not. Martin is driving a golf cart a short distance between holes.

Now, in consideration of the fact that all other major sports with major pay days exclude the likes of Martin because of their fundamental nature, I see this as reason why Martin should NOT be excluded from golf; there is no other sport available to people like him who can compete fairly, even if at a personal disadvantage. If there is no reason for the PGA to discriminate, then the PGA should not be discriminating.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Public accomodations (3.50 / 2) (#19)
by Ludwig on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:27:10 AM EST

...Title III of the ADA, which, among other things, requires an entity operating public accommodations to make reasonable modifications in its policies when necessary to afford such accommodations to individuals with disabilities...
If I were the PGA's lawyer, I might've taken issue with the characterization of a PGA tournament as a "public accomodation," at least in regards to the competitors. Requiring wheelchair ramps for spectators is one thing, but competition in these events is open only to professional golfers, by invitation. Hardly "the public." And I doubt the PGA receives any federal funding, which would obligate them under other clauses of the ADA.



[ Parent ]

your objection is dealt with in the decision (4.00 / 3) (#22)
by eLuddite on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:52:12 AM EST

If I were the PGA's lawyer, I might've taken issue with the characterization of a PGA tournament as a "public accomodation," at least in regards to the competitors.

They did take issue:

In denying petitioner summary judgment, the Magistrate Judge rejected its contention, among others, that the play areas of its tour competitions are not places of public accommodation within Title IIIs scope.

[...]

The Ninth Circuit affirmed, concluding, inter alia, that golf courses, including play areas, are places of public accommodation during professional tournaments and that permitting Martin to use a cart would not fundamentally alter the nature of those tournaments.

[...]

The Ninth Circuit affirmed, concluding, inter alia, that golf courses, including play areas, are places of public accommodation during professional tournaments and that permitting Martin to use a cart would not fundamentally alter the nature of those tournaments.

The decision just makes sense. This is what people should expect from justice. If it sets a precedent for other sports which would demonstrably not be fundamentally altered by permitting disabled people to participate, so much the better. Ultimately, if this ruling challenges nothing more than a world of experience gathered from behind a remote control and ESPN, that experience needs challenging.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Does the decision make sense? (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by aphrael on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:31:19 AM EST

The decision represents what a reasonable PGA would have done in the first place. But there's still something troubling to me about the SCOTUS establishing what the rules of golf are ... it's *not the court's job* to define the game.

[ Parent ]
the business of golf (3.00 / 1) (#66)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 04:37:52 AM EST

it's *not the court's job* to define the game.

The PGA represents Martin as a professional golfer, a profession like any other and therefore subject to protection under ADA. The decision is clear regarding the PGA's very own interpretation of its very own rules. The PGA explained the purpose of walking and the Court explained how that purpose is satisfied by Martin's disability. Look, its very simple. SCOTUS did not rewrite the rules of golf, it rewrote the PGA's ability to interpret those rules in the *business* of golf.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

By the same token (2.00 / 1) (#73)
by aphrael on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:53:14 PM EST

if the court has the power to do that, it has the power to rewrite my employer's ability to determine what the job requirements for a programmer are. But the court is *manifestly* unqualified to do that --- they're 9 old lawyers, programming is not their skill. The fact that they are arrogating to themselves that sort of power is somewhat disturbing.

[ Parent ]
They absolutely have that right. (3.00 / 1) (#74)
by error 404 on Thu May 31, 2001 at 03:41:59 PM EST

If you are in a wheelchair, and your employer, for no demonstrably vital reason, says that being able to walk to your desk is part of what it means to be a programmer, they gonna lose bigtime.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

are you looking for a magic bullet? (3.00 / 1) (#81)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:07:18 PM EST

None exists. The dichotomy of the one and the many implies that you must fight for your freedom. I would call it a moral obligation, actually, and I would call representative democracy (with a judiciary, obviously) the fairest venue in town. I know you are an anarchist. You must know that this constant struggle is the only practical way to achieve a semblance of anarchy in a democratic republic.

if the court has the power to do that, it has the power to rewrite my employer's ability to determine what the job requirements for a programmer are.

Not technical requirements and nothing in this decision even hints at being interpreted as precedent for such. But the court certainly does have the power to determine whether your employer is fairly evaluating technical requirements. Race isnt a technical requirement for a programmer, for example. Martin's disability isnt a technical requirement for PGA tournaments, for another.

The fact that they are arrogating to themselves that sort of power is somewhat disturbing.

Whenever you disagree with the law you must oppose it through civil disobedience, begining with your willingness to obey it and to suffer its consequences. Refusing to obey it simply means you become a law unto yourself and that is even more disturbing. If you have neither popular nor rational support, you should re-evaluate your objections for they are likely incorrect.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

So here's the advantage. (3.66 / 3) (#30)
by JazzManJim on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:08:56 AM EST

Just recently, a tournament was held, and two rounds were rain-delayed. The ruling officials decided, as happens often, to make up the lost rounds in the same day as the new round. This meant that the golfers were shooting 36 holes of golf in one day. Think that riding wouldn't give an advantage there? If you do, think again.

I'm on a tangent here, but Rusty has a point. Baseball is, to paraphrase a famous quote, a simple game: Hit the ball, Catch the ball, Throw the ball. Getting around the bases isn't nearly as fundamental a part of the game as the other three parts. Take Kirk Gibson in his historic game-ending home run during the World Series. He rounded the bases limping, on a badly-injured knee. Should there have been an exception because he was, at the time he batted, disabled? Many baseball players are abysmally slow rounding the bases, and a great number of players suffer from knee or leg injuries that make their running the bases painful and difficult. That's unfortunate, but it's the game. That's the way baseball is played, and I hope it's always played that way.

The point is that in golf, stamina is an important part of the game. At the top level of the game - the level which Martin will compete - stamina matters a great deal, and his riding will give him an edge against other golfers. There's no real dispute in that. I know many would like to, but to do so is to argue a point that, were you to walk a 18-hole couse, would seem silly to argue. The PGA allows Senior golfers to use carts. Okay, fine. That's a different "league" than the PGA tour on which Martin wishes to play. This isn't without precedent. Many sports leagues have slightly different rules for different levels of play, and the rules make things more difficult the higher in the sport you go.

What troubles me even more is that the Supreme Court seems to have over-interpreted the ADA. Sport is different from employment. There truly are different ruls about what a team or league may do to its players, as opposed to what an employer may do to theirs. For instance, you can leave your current company pretty much at any time, if you get a better offer from another company. A ballplayer can't do that. Free agency rules of all sorts restrict a player, as do contract rules.

What it comes down to is this: Sport is not about making sure that everyone is on a level playing field. Parity in sports is a relatively new thing, and sports is all about who can gain, hold, and maintain an advantage enough to win. Martin's going to have one, even with his disability.


-Jimmie
"Hostility toward America is a religious duty, and we hope to be rewarded for it by God...I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called superpower that is America."
(Osama bin Laden - 10 Jan 1999)
[ Parent ]
your conclusion doesnt follow from the ruling (3.00 / 1) (#35)
by eLuddite on Wed May 30, 2001 at 03:06:05 AM EST

This meant that the golfers were shooting 36 holes of golf in one day. Think that riding wouldn't give an advantage there? If you do, think again.

There's enough information in the decision to argue a further disadvantage for Martin:

determined that even with the use of a cart, the fatigue Martin suffers from coping with his disability is greater than the fatigue his able-bodied competitors endure from walking the course

I wasnt there but I assume the evidence for Martin's disability was quite compelling and that the PGA was well represented by their lawyers.

The point is that in golf, stamina is an important part of the game.

Again, given the language of the decision, I fail to see how you can conclude an advantage for Martin. Golf isnt a cardio-vascular activity and any tiredness, strain or muscle fatigue would affect the performance of all the players equally if not disproportionally hinder Martin.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

The conclusion is only true if... (3.00 / 1) (#40)
by JazzManJim on Wed May 30, 2001 at 07:07:31 AM EST

...I agree with the decision, which I do not. In fact, I agree with Justices Scalia and Thomas who abstained from ruling either way, on the basis that the Supreme Court had no business making a decision one way or the other.

The point is that I don't believe that the ADA is applicable to this situation and that the Supreme court actually overstepped its bounds in making a decision. To do so now establishes a precedent to make all manner of rulings on professional sports which should not be made. It may not happen, but now the door is open, and that's wrong.


-Jimmie
"Hostility toward America is a religious duty, and we hope to be rewarded for it by God...I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called superpower that is America."
(Osama bin Laden - 10 Jan 1999)
[ Parent ]
Mixed response (4.16 / 6) (#21)
by onyxruby on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:48:31 AM EST

First, I should state that I am considered physically handicapped. I broke my foot playing football in high school and it never healed properly.

There were two primary considerations that the court had on things. First, the ADA likes to enforce what it calls "reasonable" accomodations upon employers. In this case, as a professional golfer, the PGA is effectively his employer. If he was an amateur, his case would have never had any legal merit and would have never been heard.

His use of the cart to move between holes is certainly reasonable. Without question all golf courses are designed to operate golf carts to begin with. No physical structural alterations have to be made to accomodate him. Secondly, his use of the golf cart does not interfere with others play in the game. In other words, the golf cart isn't going to physically get in the way of the other players. In order for the PGA to accomodate his handicap, all they had to was just say "OK". It doesn't get any more reasonable than that.

Now, lets take your baseball example for comparison. In order to have someone play ball with a golf cart, you would have to physically change the field itself. A golf cart could wreck the grass and the dirt. Thus the golf cart could not be physically accommodated without structural changes to the nature of the game. Putting in pavement between the bases just for the golf cart would qualify as just such a structural change. Second, the golf cart would physically interfere with how others play the game. You would have to park it near home base, and would have to figure out how to "just" touch a base with it without physically running over one of the baseman.

In short, the issue was that a reasonable accomodation could be made for him that would allow him to go to work and not unreasonably affect those around him. Now, if the PGA is truly concerned about fairness they could as you suggested allow everyone to use golf carts. They do it on the Senior tour and it would not interfere with any part of the game that counts for the score. Since the score of the game is what determines who wins or loses, and not time for distance traveled (such as your biatholon example), they wouldn't have to alter the nature of the game.

Now, I don't think that this should mean that someone who is handicapped should be able to force themselves into a professional sport they didn't belong to in the first place just on the basis of the handicap. For example, even though I once played football, I don't that I should be able to force myself onto the Minnesota Vikings football team. In his case, he was a professional in his sport to begin with, before he had to use the cart.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

amateur v. professional (3.66 / 3) (#27)
by eLuddite on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:58:48 AM EST

If he was an amateur, his case would have never had any legal merit and would have never been heard.

Assuming golfing associations hold amateur tournaments, why would this be true? Wouldnt that mean, for example, that girls could be excluded from playing in a boys hockey league? I dont know about the States but Justine Blainey won the right to play in the all-male Ontario Hockey Association and the Ontario Human Rights Commission subsequently ruled that women cannot be banned from competing in male sports and on male teams. Disability discrimination, like gender discrimination, is discrimination. As long as a game isnt compromised, why would amateur status be relevant in a discrimination case?

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Fair points (3.66 / 3) (#37)
by rusty on Wed May 30, 2001 at 03:57:52 AM EST

I'm pretty much arbitrarily responding to your comment instead of one of the others that make the same basic points here. They're fair points, and I am at least mostly swayed by them. I still maintain that general fairness demands that other players have the option of taking a cart as well.

Curiously, no one seems to have thought much of my wheelchair idea. Why wasn't the notion that Martin propel himself manually, in whatever way possible, apparently considered? That still seems, to me, the fairest solution of the bunch.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

wheelchair on grass? (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by streetlawyer on Wed May 30, 2001 at 07:00:11 AM EST

Taking a wheelchair onto the grass surface of most golf courses would be *much* harder than walking. Furthermore, walking doesn't tire out your arms (needed for your golf swing), while using a wheelchair does. Furthermore, wheelchairs as they are currently designed tend to leave dirty great ruts in neatly manicured fairways.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Because the PGA are jerks. (3.00 / 1) (#57)
by aphrael on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:29:34 AM EST

Why wasn't the notion that Martin propel himself manually, in whatever way possible, apparently considered?

PGA didn't want to consider it. The SCOTUS did *not* specify what particular accomodations PGA has to make for Martin; it merely said they had to make *some* accomodation.

I'm not sure where I stand on this one. It *sucks* that the PGA hasn't been willing to accomodate Martin, and the way they kept changing their story in the case --- at every court they made a different argument, accepting the decision of the previous court and then saying 'but this other thing means we shouldn't have to accomodate him', but there's also something absurd about the SCOTUS determining the rules of golf. *sigh*

[ Parent ]

More mistatements (3.50 / 2) (#24)
by www.sorehands.com on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:35:17 AM EST

You said:
imilarly, major league baseball has a rule that players must run between bases. What happens when the first wheelchair bound baseball player wants to play in the Big Leagues? He shows up with his motorized all-terrain wheelchair, and the managers are all over him. His strike zone's about two inches wide (because he hits seated) and his chair's got a supercharged motor, so he can "run" 50 MPH.
What you fail to bring up is that running the bases is a part of the baseball. Walking between holes are neither scored or graded. If the person falls down, dances, cart-wheel between holes no difference to their game performace is made.

It's been held that just having rules, that prevents accomodations will not hold up. The rules of accomodations do not require the nature of the job to be changed, but only periphery functions be accomodated. For examples, there are casee of companies making a blanket claime that perfect attendance is a requirment and time off is an undue hardship has been told otherwise. The claim of perfect attendance has to be backed up with evidence.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.barbieslapp.com
Mattel, SLAPP terrorists intent on destroying free speech.
-----------------------------------------------------------
[ Parent ]

Uh, no (2.00 / 1) (#29)
by delmoi on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:01:20 AM EST

You can walk between bases, hobble, crawl (I think) as long as you get there in time. I think Babe Ruth actually took a Cadillac once, or something like that.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Actualy (2.00 / 1) (#31)
by delmoi on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:09:02 AM EST

I may be wrong about this, if so please corect me.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
oh come on rusty (3.50 / 4) (#33)
by streetlawyer on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:34:16 AM EST

Similarly, major league baseball has a rule that players must run between bases

Not similarly at all. The point of baseball is to see whether you can run there before the ball gets there. That's the whole game. The "rule" in golf is comparatively far more trivial; if it wasn't nobody would have invented the golf cart in the first place.

No, it's not the exact same situation, but it is a very logical extension of the Martin ruling.

No, it's a blindingly illogical extension, which no court would ever make.

. This significantly changes the game -- I can fully believe that the in last holes of a four-day tournament, fatigue from walking becomes a major factor.

Oh come on. When have you ever, ever heard a commentator say "well, he might miss this, after all, he's tired after four days of ... walking"? In any case, do we pay to watch golf, or to watch an endurance event?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

How many golf matches have been lost (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by error 404 on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:04:53 PM EST

due to bad walking technique?

My test: do professional golfers practice walking as part of their training regime? Baseball players practice running: many games are won or lost because of the speed of a runner.

Until this case, I had never heard of golf described as a test of stamina. Have restrictions been introduced to prevent the use of stamina enhancing beverages?

I find the court's involvement in the situation disturbing. However, professional sport is business, not play.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Good examples, bad application (4.00 / 2) (#52)
by Raunchola on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:46:40 PM EST

Rusty, you provided some good examples, but they just don't stick here.

In both of your examples, the disabled person is getting a definite unfair advantage. The wheelchair-bound baseball player and his supercharged motor would enable him to make it to the bases faster than even the best player out there. The biathalon competitor has his snowmobile and the momentum of the snowmobile's weight to propel himself down the mountain, much faster than anyone else out there.

By your logic, Casey Martin should be whipping everyone's ass all over the course, since he has the "advantage" of his golf cart. But he's not. Hell, he even missed the cut in the 1998 Greater Hartford Open and the 2000 Bob Hope Classic.

The cart doesn't add twenty extra yards to his stroke, nor does it keep his ball away from the rough and the hazards, nor does it keep him at ten under par. All it does is it allows him to get to his ball. From there, his ability as a golfer takes over.

As for the fatigue issue, the Supreme Court said that Casey Martin "easily endures greater fatigue even with a cart than his able-bodied competitors do by walking."

-
I am an American, not a "USian." Get it right.
[ Parent ]
Tit for tat? (3.00 / 1) (#90)
by cpt kangarooski on Thu May 31, 2001 at 10:09:53 PM EST

Well, assuming that the court felt that the league was in the wrong, they'd likely have the authority to do so. They benefit from a government-granted monopoly on professional baseball and would thus be beholden to governmental regulation. They could perhaps regain their freedom by conceeding the monopoly, but would they want to? What the big print giveth, the small print can taketh away, you know.

At any rate, the government is fully capable of passing laws for the public good which to certain extents can infringe on private behavior. It is illegal for the PGA to rob people, despite the lack a direct connection with the government. It is illegal for them to dump toxic waste on their own property despite the lack of a direct connection with the government.

If the courts of the land determine that it is just, legal and proper to do so - which in your rather extreme example I'd doubt - then they'd have the authority to do so. This doesn't apply to everything, but the entire point of having judges instead of reading out the answer from a big book is that people have intelligence and wisdom and can apply them in the cause of justice.

Stop thinking that everything is cut and dry or that proper behavior is clear. The world is messy and the right answer in one situation may not always apply elsewhere. There is no perfection, so we've got to try the best we can.

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Rules (4.00 / 7) (#20)
by sigwinch on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:39:50 AM EST

If you're going to be stating 'facts' that they don't agree with you're going to have to do a little more then absolutely zero to back them up.
The game played by the PGA involves walking by definition. End of story. No further fucking discussion. Everybody in the fucking case absolutely agreed that PGA golf involves walking. The defense agreed on it. Every goddam Supreme-Fucking-Court Justice agreed on it. The plaintiff agreed on it. The PGA administrators agreed with it. The members of the PGA agreed. Sports commentators agreed on it. Pick some random guy in Detroit and he'd agree. Everybody says: walking is an absolute part of PGA golf.

The question here is not whether PGA golf involves walking, but whether the government of the United States should prohibit the practice of PGA golf with any amount of force necessary -- up to and including deadly force, for that is the ultimately authority of the law -- on the grounds that certain people cannot participate in it.

It is a question of fundamental liberties, and that is why people are so mad. The Court has decided that no collective behavior is permissible, unless any arbitrary person is permitted to replace a participant, regardless of the replacement's skills or ability.

It is a question of free association: the PGA members are being compelled by force of law -- by traitorous jackbooted federal marshalls if necessary -- to associate with someone they don't wish to associate with.

You say walking is an integral part of golfing. Yeh, right. People who play it amaturely don't always walk, so not walking doesn't take away from the fun.
Those are different games. Prior to this latest act of tyrrany by the Supreme Court, anybody could make up their own rules and agree to play by them. Lamers could have carts and mulligans. That guy over there could use a big stick instead of clubs. The PGA could require walking. But not now. Oh, no fucking no. People cannot be allowed to do that, because they might make rules that are "unfair", whatever the fuck that means in the context of arbitrary rules.
The court isn't supposed to look at the technical details, the court is supposed to look at the obvious.
The whole point of games is the technical details. A hundred-yard dash is exactly 100 yards. If some gene-damaged freak can only run 93.7 yards before collapsing, that's just too fucking bad for them. They can't participate and they have to go home and rot in their exclusion. Boo fucking hoo. Indy cars (IIRC, maybe I'm thinking Formula 1) have restrictor plates in the intake manifold to limit engine power. If you don't have the skill to pass without a few extra horsepower, that's just too fucking bad. Go home or wipe out in turn four trying to pass. PGA golf says you have to walk. Can't walk? Go home.
Those people whining are just that, whining .
As far as I'm concerned, PGA golfers should deliberately throw every game against this whiny cripple so that he wins every time. Give him trophies, medals, hookers, banquets, whatever it is that the PGA gives. Shower him in adulations for his greatness at the game of PGA golf.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

are meant to be broken (2.66 / 3) (#23)
by eLuddite on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:57:42 AM EST

The game played by the PGA involves walking by definition.

Not any more, not if you cant walk.

End of story.

It is now.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Re: are meant to be broken (2.00 / 1) (#48)
by sigwinch on Wed May 30, 2001 at 05:19:10 PM EST

The game played by the PGA involves walking by definition.
Not any more, not if you cant walk.
Wrong, idiot. PGA golf still absolutely requires walking. That has not changed. What has changed is that playing PGA golf in the United States is now a crime.

Pull your heads out of your butts, people. The Supreme Court is making games illegal on account a few people being unable to play them. They might has well have outlawed dim lighting in first-person shooters, on account of some people not being able to see targets well.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

an idiot's reply (3.00 / 1) (#70)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:19:06 AM EST

Wrong, idiot. PGA golf still absolutely requires walking. That has not changed.

Then you will undoubtedly find this requirement for walking in the rules of the game. If you cannot find this rule, it doesnt exist. In fact, no such rule of the game exists. What exists is a PGA *tournament* rule, a business decision, applicable to some PGA tournaments, which the court upheld by pointing out how its purpose was more than satisfied by Martin's disability.

Instead of calling me an idiot, read the decision, the rules of golf and, if your eyes are not too tired from looking out for jack booted thugs, ADA itself.

The Supreme Court is making games illegal on account a few people being unable to play them.

An accusation whose absurdity is rivalled only by an irrational interpretation of wildly innaccurate facts.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Adjectives are your good friends (2.50 / 2) (#79)
by Robert Hutchinson on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:55:12 PM EST

Wrong, idiot. PGA golf still absolutely requires walking. That has not changed.
Then you will undoubtedly find this requirement for walking in the rules of the game.
"Requirements" and "rules" are not synonymous. One is not required to walk while playing golf based on the rules of golf. One is required to walk while playing PGA golf based on the requirements of the PGA.

Is wearing clothing an essential part of PGA golf? Would you deny PGA officials the right to forbid players to tee off in the nude? It's not in the rules, I'll bet!

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

thank you for agreeing to spite your disagreement (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:12:01 PM EST

"Requirements" and "rules" are not synonymous.

Bingo. SCOTUS has ruled these specific requirements are specious. Next.

Is wearing clothing an essential part of PGA golf?

I cant say the question interests me but I certainly look forward to any test of those requirements.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Are you trolling, or just finding excuses to post? (2.00 / 1) (#96)
by Robert Hutchinson on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 07:43:05 PM EST

"Requirements" and "rules" are not synonymous.
Bingo. SCOTUS has ruled these specific requirements are specious. Next.
That was not the point at all. You responded to "walking is a requirement" with "then find it in the rules of golf." An organization's requirement need not be a sport's rule. Next.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

you have no point, you have frivolous opposition (3.00 / 1) (#100)
by eLuddite on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 10:09:41 PM EST

That was not the point at all.

Then you do not have a point, none whatsoever.

An organization's requirement need not be a sport's rule.

Good grief. An organization's requirements cannot be extra-legal.

Next.

There is no next, there is only your irrational disagreement, made irrational by the absence of actual reasoning and the presence of rights solecisms, instead. The same goes with everyone else in this article who disagrees on the basis of the unfettered exercise of rights. What would be the point of a judiciary if absolute rights meant their absolute exercise? Hello?

As a point of interest, the PGA did NOT defend themselves on any Constitutional grounds. All of you constitutional cultists would do well to actually inform yourselves of the actual *meaning* of your Constitution instead of stupidly reciting it like so many squawking parrots. This thread is instructive, as is the entire diary it is taken from.

This decision does not rewrite the rules of the game of golf, it redresses discrimination in the business of PGA tournaments. Walking is (was) a tournament requirement whose reason is more than adequately served by Martin's handicap. Strolling between holes is not written into the rules of golf, nor does it contribute to golf's sporting action.

The results of the poll -- currently standing at something worse than 60/40 -- are rather disheartening.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

bla bla bla (4.28 / 7) (#28)
by delmoi on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:59:31 AM EST

By living in a society, you implicitly agree to have your 'freedoms' curtailed. If you feel to many of your freedoms are being taken away, then you can revolt. Or something

When you exist in a society, you need to follow the Law. The Supreme court believed that by not allowing this guy to ride around in a golf cart the PGA was violating the law. Their interpretation of the law was that this guy got to use a golf cart "End of story. No further fucking discussion"

It's pretty hypocritical of you guys to hold the PGAs rules so sacred while at the same time deriding the laws of the United States.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Give me PGA golf or give me death (2.33 / 3) (#49)
by sigwinch on Wed May 30, 2001 at 05:33:12 PM EST

By living in a society, you implicitly agree to have your 'freedoms' curtailed.
The hell I do, Hitler-boy.
When you exist in a society, you need to follow the Law.
The hell I do, Stalin-boy.
The Supreme court believed that by not allowing this guy to ride around in a golf cart the PGA was violating the law.
The United States government only has those privileges that are explicitly granted to it by the Constitution. Please show me the provision(s) of the Constitution that permit Congress to control all games anywhere in the country. I've read it from beginning to end and I see nothing that allows Federal control of all games. It is not an act of war, an act of taxation, it does not constitute slavery, it does not regulate the value of currency, and so forth. How is this decision legal?
It's pretty hypocritical of you guys to hold the PGAs rules so sacred while at the same time deriding the laws of the United States.
The PGA's rules are simply the arbitrary rules of any game. Such rules and customs, from the seventh inning stretch to the form of the sonnet, are the soul of all interesting human activity. Except for gov't-sponsored games, the the prerogatives of legislators and bureaucrats should stay the hell out.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

The Social Contract (3.00 / 1) (#77)
by Count Zero on Thu May 31, 2001 at 04:56:37 PM EST

By living in a society, you implicitly agree to have your 'freedoms' curtailed.

The hell I do, Hitler-boy.

Umm, yes you do. Your freedoms are curtailed every day. That's the whole concept of the social contract. You give up some freedoms in exchange for things like police to protect you from random thugs, the military to protect you from foreign invasion, the fire department to protect your house from burning down, etc.

By electing to live in the U.S., (for example) you choose to give up certain freedoms for the protections of the state. If you think this is a raw deal, you are always free to leave. (This would obviously not be true in a totalitarian country that restricts emigration, but there would be no social contract there anyway, just coercion

-Count Zero



[ Parent ]
The Socialist Contract (2.00 / 1) (#80)
by Robert Hutchinson on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:12:25 PM EST

Umm, yes you do. Your freedoms are curtailed every day. That's the whole concept of the social contract. You give up some freedoms in exchange for things like police to protect you from random thugs, the military to protect you from foreign invasion, the fire department to protect your house from burning down, etc.
  • I have agreed to no social contract. Contracts, by definition, require the agreement of all parties involved.
  • Police departments and militaries are capable of being justified, as they involve protection from and/or retribution for aggression.
  • Did this "contract" authorize no-knock raids by the police that use the wrong address? Did I sign off on the military's routine engagement in foreign occupation and murder?
  • "etc."? Do you often sign contracts with "etc." in them?
By electing to live in the U.S., (for example) you choose to give up certain freedoms for the protections of the state. If you think this is a raw deal, you are always free to leave. (This would obviously not be true in a totalitarian country that restricts emigration, but there would be no social contract there anyway, just coercion)
I did not "elect" to live in the U.S. I live here because I own land here. And since I have never agreed to a social contract, I am not likely to suddenly acknowledge such a contract long enough to accept the government's proper authority to have me leave.

Your parenthetical is amusing, though: when you can't leave, it's coercion; when you can't stay, it's a contract. I think I'll move into your house. By electing to live in the house I now occupy, you agree to give up certain freedoms. If you don't like it, you can always move out ...

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

sorry, all manner of implied contracts exist (3.00 / 1) (#86)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:06:16 PM EST

I have agreed to no social contract. Contracts, by definition, require the agreement of all parties involved.

Really? Are you a lawyer? I think not and for everyone who thinks he might be, think again. Of course you are perfectly free to define words according to your peculiar usage, just as you are free to terminate your contract with society for failure of mutual consent. Step one, renounce your citizenship. Step two, print this, all of it. Step three, buy tickets to step four. Step five, enjoy your absolute freedom to read step two between bouts of survival.

Your parenthetical is amusing,

This coming from a libertarian, the source of all possible political amusement.

though: when you can't leave, it's coercion;

But since you can leave, there must be a reason for your decision to stay and foment boredom. Looks like one party is fulfulling their end of the social contract by making your stay here an attractive proposition.

God bless libertarians, all 102 of them.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

102 people can't be wrong (2.00 / 1) (#97)
by Robert Hutchinson on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 08:34:22 PM EST

I have agreed to no social contract. Contracts, by definition, require the agreement of all parties involved.
Really?
Really.
Are you a lawyer? I think not and for everyone who thinks he might be, think again.
Your link says that parties to a social contract need to agree to it. I do not. Was that so hard? I am quite aware that laws exist "contrary" to my opinions. Fortunately, I am not so deluded as to believe that the existence of a law is sufficient justification for its intent.
Step one, renounce your citizenship.
No need to go further. If I do not accept the validity of a social contract, I certainly don't care whether or not the government considers me a citizen. My rights are the same regardless.
when you can't leave, it's coercion;
But since you can leave,
... you can snip the salient portion of my comment. Looking wiser and wiser by the moment, you are.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

1,000,000 people can be wrong if you led them (3.00 / 1) (#99)
by eLuddite on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 09:29:55 PM EST

Your link says that parties to a social contract need to agree to it.

I provided more than one link. From my link:

implied contract: a contract that a court infers to exist from the words and conduct of the parties (called also contract implied in fact, implied in fact contract)

social contract : an actual or hypothetical agreement among individuals forming an organized society or between the community and the ruler that defines and limits the rights and duties of each

As for the link responding to Heuben, I've read it which is more than I can say for you since the link I provided includes its direct rebuttal.

I do not [agree with this contract]. Was that so hard

Lets understand something, here. Your (dis)agreement is neither necessary nor cause for its termination without consequence, understood? Before speaking of contracts as if you understood them, have the courtesy to speak of them as they are understood. In order to terminate your contract without obligation by either party, you must renounce your citizenship and live as one with a deserted island. Understand? Until you do that, you cannot claim civil rights while also renouncing civil obligations. You are given a choice: civil society or a state of nature. You have chosen civil society and telling me you disagree with your own choice is utterly fatuous.

Fortunately, I am not so deluded as to believe that the existence of a law is sufficient justification for its intent.

Unfortunately, your beliefs are no justification for the contrary. Since legislation is argued before it's enacted, and since a statement of your beliefs are not a form of arguement, you remain utterly unconvincing to anyone who is not you.

I certainly don't care whether or not the government considers me a citizen.

Your "cares" do not protect your civil rights, your citizenship does. It is typical libertarian bullshit to promote the widest possible false distinction possible citizenship and the government it institutes.

My rights are the same regardless.

Their exercise is not. Society is not the State of Nature, by definition. Get over it.

Looking wiser and wiser by the moment, you are

Keep digging, I can still see the top of your head.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Sorry guy, he's right. (3.00 / 1) (#91)
by cpt kangarooski on Thu May 31, 2001 at 10:43:19 PM EST

Laws - real laws, not oppressive ones - can only be enacted from a government that operates with the consent of the people who are governed. Obeying the laws is to consent to the legitimacy of the government.

Thus civil disobedience mandates that one follow laws which one opposes since the authority to pass laws is itself proper, though the laws themselves are not. Out-and-out rebellion would pretty much require the belief that a government cannot pass *any* law and is illegitimate.

Your presence in society, interaction with it, and obedience to the authority of the government to pass laws at all are tacit consent to be governed by those laws. Tacit contracts are pretty common, and quite legal.

A transaction in which you purchase gum at the Quickee Mart qualifies. They offer gum, explicitly requiring that it be exchanged for money as the terms of a simple contract. When you take the gum, you are agreeing to be bound by the contract. Only by giving them the appropriate sum of money can you legally fulfill it. Otherwise you've broken your contract with them and are in fact now stealing. (which is what we call this)

Your participation in society and presence here is a similar sort of tacit agreement to be bound by the laws, to surrender certain freedoms which are generally felt harmful. (your right to murder people, for example) Typically it works out fairly well.

If you don't like being bound by the government and society around you, then your only options are to agitate for a change in society, to overthrow the society and promote anarchy, or to leave. Here, it's probably best if you left or at least didn't go overboard with one and two.

But being here is agreement enough. Similarly, when you go to a neighboring state in which you are not a citizen, you're nevertheless bound by their laws. When you go to a foreign country, barring exceptional circumstances like full diplomatic immunity, you're bound by their laws even though you have no say there. It's just the terms of your being there, really.

As for your house example, you have already agreed through your continued presence that should you take over his house, you'd be comitting tresspass and theft. (among other things) You can't force him out, because you already agreed not to force him out or to be in hot water if you did. There's really not any way around it.

On the other hand, at least, he can't force you out of your house, which is the point. By making a small sacrifice of freedom enough security is obtained to be able to practice many other more productive freedoms. Freedom of speech ain't worth much in the land that also has the freedom to punch people you disagree with; it results in less exercise of free speech....

Too many sacrifices is dangerous, but so are too few. We strive for the happy medium, and lament the imperfection of man and the world.

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Not at all compelling (2.00 / 1) (#98)
by Robert Hutchinson on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 08:52:46 PM EST

Obeying laws is not to consent to government's legitimacy, any more than giving my wallet to a mugger is to consent to a mugger's legitimacy.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

in for a penny, in for a pound (2.50 / 4) (#34)
by eLuddite on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:42:11 AM EST

Damn, I hate when that happens, but since it did happen, professional ethics blah, blah, blah, demand that I inter myself the additional 5 ft south. With that in mind:

Give him trophies, medals, hookers,

Hookers would, of course, be sexism, a form of gender discrimination, unless the PGA had a business relationship with Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute, in which case we'd have to proceed on the lesser charge of pimping. Know this, PGA: there is no rest for the wicked.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Amatuers... (2.50 / 2) (#84)
by darthaggie on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:41:23 PM EST

You say walking is an integral part of golfing. Yeh, right. People who play it amaturely don't always walk,

Yeah, but they're not in the PGA. Come to think of it, neither is Casey Martin.

I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]

Observing the march (2.00 / 1) (#92)
by 87C751 on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 10:59:37 AM EST

To them, golf isn't 'whatever the PGA says is golf' it's what people think of when they think of golf. It's a common sense definition.
Well, then... I think both Baseball leagues should have designated hitters. It's only common sense to allow your pitcher to be completely specialized, right?
</snide>

Seriously, I can't understand where the SCOTUS gets off. The question isn't what is or is not golf, it's "what are the rules of the PGA tournament". PGA rules say you walk, so you walk. Them's the rules.

This decision is just another step in the reduction of the US to the lowest common denominator. It's the end of evolution, as natural selection has been deemed illegal.

Kornbluth was right all along.

My ranting place.
[ Parent ]

Walking. (3.25 / 8) (#9)
by eann on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:31:32 PM EST

"Walking is part of the sport" is bullshit. They're allowed to use carts on the Seniors tour. Which of you wants to claim Jack Nicklaus isn't playing professional golf? He made $42k last weekend, to come in 12th place; what did you earn?

If you're a normal healthy young- to middle-aged adult, and walking (on average) 5 to 6 miles a day wears you out, you've got no business being in a professional sport, anyway. Hell, I can walk that far without it significantly affecting me, and I'm 50 pounds overweight. I know average citizens that walked 20 miles in a day for charity. At least Martin has a reason he can't.

In the grand scheme of things, I don't really care if this guy gets to play pro golf. My life goes on either way. He came off looking whiny, and the PGA came off looking like jerks. It's just nice to see the ADA reaffirmed after the Supreme Court handed down a few weeks ago that it doesn't apply to employees of state governments.


Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


Senior? (3.25 / 4) (#17)
by duxup on Tue May 29, 2001 at 11:07:04 PM EST

Well Mr. Martin isn't joining the Senior tour. In the rules for the PGA regular tour it says you must walk. I think it is unfortunate that he doesn't qualify because of his disability but there's just some things he can't do.

[ Parent ]
Unforunetly for the PGA (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by delmoi on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:51:18 AM EST

The rules of the contry they are in say that they can't have that rule. If the PGA can't follow the rules they are free to leave the contry.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
walking (4.00 / 3) (#36)
by ocswing on Wed May 30, 2001 at 03:29:39 AM EST

i will agree with you that by just walking 5-6 miles you shouldn't be tired. but it isn't just the walking that tires you in golf. it's that repetitive swing. ask an amateur golfer with a cart who shoots above 100 and he'll tell you how tiring it is. I know it's hard to believe but the more you swing the more tiring it is to play golf. and when you have to walk and swing you're just beat at the end of the day. but i still think that casey martin shouldn't be on the pga tour. because i do believe that walking is part of it. anyway, just thought i'd inform you of that little tidbit. i'm out

[ Parent ]
Not being able to walk is a hindrance to his game (3.00 / 8) (#10)
by alprazolam on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:55:50 PM EST

Casey Martin wants to be able to walk the course. Not being able to disrupts his rhythm and makes it more difficult for him to judge the lay of the course. Riding is a disadvantage and most players would choose to walk if they could. Casey can't, he can barely play 18 holes as is because of his leg. This isn't a case of some guy who can't play being given an advantage over everybody else. It's a case of the PGA not wanting to have to have to consider any exception to its rules, and failing because of the disabilities act.

out of toilet paper? just use the constitution! (4.18 / 16) (#11)
by xarwin on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:07:12 PM EST

Well, well. What a shock. It seems to me as though this country has gone into a bit of a decline in terms of the alleged freedom we are given. Every time we Americans turn around it seems as though the government is another inch closer to a dictatorship. Once again, the government is attempting to tell us how to run our lives, our private businesses, and private organizations.

Last time I checked, the PGA was a private institution, which entitles it to choose its own rules and members whether we agree with thier reasons or not. Sorry. Thats the way it is. It may sound insensitive, but while I wish with all my heart the PGA would accomodate this man, I don't want the basest beliefs of this country to get shit on again by the government barging into private affairs.

I'd appreciate any responses, especially ones that oppose my POV... I like to get a feel for what everybody else thinks :)


"Times are bad. Children are disobeying their parents and everyone is writing a book." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

this *sputter( is *sputter* outrageous *sputter*!! (1.50 / 10) (#15)
by eLuddite on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:42:26 PM EST

Last time I checked, the PGA was a private institution, which entitles it to choose its own rules and members whether we agree with thier reasons or not. Sorry.

Brother, I no longer fear Americans, the majority of whom are closet fascists like yourself and your (defanged) pit bull, Scalia. The trend of the Supreme Court is to align itself firmly with the New World Order and, although I respect your opinion, your opinion will be muzzled for the damage it inflicts upon yourself and the community of superior nations.

Lets consider the *facts* without appeal to your American jingoism. Facts are, the decision rendered in PGA v. Martin is supremely logical for its recognition of the *rights* of Canadians to enjoy the super ultra elite PGA Tour on T.V. without thoughts of invasion. Democracy is finally coming to the U.S.A. Please do yourself the favor of not forcing us to deliver to you at the end of hockey sticks.

I'd appreciate any responses,

daquele, eu estou certo

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

I can't believe its not sputter. (3.50 / 2) (#50)
by xarwin on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:21:57 PM EST

This is a great example of how not to respond to a post. I especially love your unfounded generalization about americans, your misuse of the word 'fascist', and the fact that I couldn't even begin to decipher the second paragraph.

Democracy is finally coming to the U.S.A.

de·moc·ra·cy (d-mkr-s) n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies

1) Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. 2) A political or social unit that has such a government. 3) The common people, considered as the primary source of political power. 4) Majority rule. 5) The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

The only one of these I can possibly imagine supporting your cryptic and unfounded claim is number 5, which grants social equality and respect, not the perversion of one of the ideals of this country: freedom of choice for private institution, be it an individual or an organization.

Oh, and I have nothing but pure, raw admiration for your impressive command of Portuguese. Wow. I'm sure we're all sufficiently impressed.


"Times are bad. Children are disobeying their parents and everyone is writing a book." - Marcus Tullius Cicero
[ Parent ]

Oh, look. A worm dangling from a hook. (2.00 / 1) (#62)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 03:42:00 AM EST

This is a great example of how not to respond to a post.

Unless, of course, you (as in you) are too busy being smart to avoid being trolled.

Oh, and I have nothing but pure, raw admiration for your impressive command of Portuguese. Wow. I'm sure we're all sufficiently impressed.

That message wasnt meant for you, actually. In any case, I speak several languages but choose to write the trollish bits in English in the vain hope that someone will understand. Someone that isnt you, evidently.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Someone that isnt you, evidently. (2.00 / 1) (#63)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 04:06:01 AM EST

Speaking of worms, I got mine.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Someone that isnt you, evidently. (2.00 / 1) (#85)
by xarwin on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:02:35 PM EST

Oh no, don't get me wrong, I got it, I just don't care. Two very different things, as a person of your intellectual caliber would doubtless know.


"Times are bad. Children are disobeying their parents and everyone is writing a book." - Marcus Tullius Cicero
[ Parent ]

Sure, Government Is Bad, PGA is Good (4.00 / 2) (#61)
by moshez on Thu May 31, 2001 at 01:56:18 AM EST

So if the PGA had a rule that being white is integral to golf? Or that being a Christian? Or a Catholic? Would it still be alright?

Yes, it is hard to know where to draw the line. It is really hard -- because there are good arguments both ways. On the one hand, yes, nobody wants to government to tell him what to do. On the other hand, nobody wants to be discriminated on grounds of his race, religion or physical disabilities.

[T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.
[ Parent ]

I agree, the lines do blur, but... (3.00 / 1) (#87)
by xarwin on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:17:55 PM EST

Lemme put this out right here in case I was being misleading... I wish that the PGA would stop being so stubborn, retrograde, and all around detestable. Same goes for every type of situation like this.

That said, the fact of the matter is that even if I object to a cause with all my being, even if I wish every single member would die in their sleep tonight, even if the passing thought of their organization makes me want vomit because of their pure detestability (hate groups, the neo-nazi political party, etc...), I still respect their right to exist as a private organization.

It doesn't matter whether I agree with them or not, their right to exist with their own rules is guaranteed them by the constitution, and what the hell kind of hypocrite would I be if I denied them that just because I disagree?

In this case, we aren't even talking about a hate group. We're talking about a respected ('til now, at least) private organization that has its own rules. If they want to exclude the handicapped, thats their right. If they want to exclude Catholics or Jews or any other group of people, that, too, is their right.

Do we agree? No. Does that make it right to interfere claiming a right to do so merely because of our views of the way things should be? Hell no. This country is founded upon freedom of ideas and their exchange. To deny that, even to detestable organizations, is against everything I stand for.


"Times are bad. Children are disobeying their parents and everyone is writing a book." - Marcus Tullius Cicero
[ Parent ]

It was hard voting "no" in that poll. (3.75 / 12) (#12)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:24:57 PM EST

But the rules exist for a reason. If he is unable to participate under the rules set by the PGA Tour, then he shouldn't participate. I hate to single him out by his physical ailment, and I'm sure the PGA Tour hates it just as much, but the cart gives him an unfair advantage, even if it is an unfair disadvantage without it.

crash.neotope.com


I had no trouble voting YES but dislike the court (3.66 / 3) (#41)
by DontTreadOnMe on Wed May 30, 2001 at 08:08:19 AM EST

I had no problem voting "yes" to the poll. Yes, the rules exist for a reason. However, that reason is rather unimportant compared to the disservice to the sport the rule results in, in excluding a physically handicapped but nevertheless talented golfer from an event for what amounts to an arbitrary reason.

Yes, the man should be permitted to take part in the event, golf cart and all.

No, the courts and the government have no business enforcing their standards of fairness on a private organization. That is what public protest, boycotts, and force of the market place are for. The PGA should, according to the constitution, have every right as a private organization to conduct itself in an insensitive, neandrathalic manner, and reap the natural consiquences such foolishness engenders.

So, while I like the outcome of the case, I detest the means by which the outcome was achieved, and find myself agreeing with the libertarian post implying that the supreme court (along with the other two branches of government) are using the constitution for little more than toilet paper. Unfortunately, this decision is by no means unique in that regard ... most, if not all, of the decisions of late, have had little or no bearing on the contents of that document. Unfortunately, there aren't any particular consiquences spelled out for what should happen to politicians and judges who do not adhere to their oath to uphold the constitution. Probably just as well, since Washington would be a ghost town if there were.
--
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media
[ Parent ]

Ah, there's the question! (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by aphrael on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:24:44 AM EST

the courts and the government have no business enforcing their standards of fairness on a private organization.

Why not? What's the rationale that allows the government to make murder illegal, or theft, but not discrimination based on categories the government doesn't think should be discriminated against?

Now, I agree the courts have no business enforcing *their* standards --- the courts enforce the standards set by the legislature. And it would unquestionably be legally legitimate for the legislature of a *state* to pass this kind of legislation. (The federal picture is less clear, of course). But I suspect you are talking not about legality but about *philosophy*; you are philosophically opposed to laws against discrimination. Which is why I ask: why is a law prohibiting discrimination less valid than a law prohibiting murder? Both prohibit conduct that is harmful to the victim.

[ Parent ]

Murder nowhere near the same as discrimination (3.00 / 1) (#94)
by DontTreadOnMe on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 03:07:32 PM EST

You have a constitutional right to life and liberty.

You do not have a constitutional right to attend a private party I am hosting, nor be a member of a private club I choose to form. I, on the other hand, do have a right to freely associate with whomever I desire, and to exclude those I do not like, for whatever reasons, from my social life. I have the right to be as fair, or as banal and neandratholic, in choosing who I do and do not allow into my private club/party/residence, as I like.

Your assumption that I am against anti-discrimination legislation is incorrect. I am in favor of anti-discrimination legislation as far as it affects employment, access to public banking, the purchase of property, and the excersize of government. These are all public activities, taking place in the public marketplace or political sphere. However, as much as I despise and detest bigots of every ethnicity (and most especially those of my own ethnicity whose well deserved ill reputation soils me by association), I am very opposed to legislation which invades the private sphere any more than absolutely necessary to protect basic constitutional rights (eg. the right to life). This is one such instance in which the person has no constitutional right to play golf, but in which the courts have chosen to impose their will on a private organization in an unconstititional manner because they, like me, find the PGA's stance to be reprehensible and, on the level of personal ethics, indefensible.

While I like the result (the guy should be able to play golf, with a cart if necessary), I detest the means. How soon until I am required to invite x number of black, hispanic, or other ethnic groups to my private parties or face charges of discrimination and law suits demanding entrance to my personal domicile?

If we grant the government the authority to invade our private sphere in this manner, no matter how good the motives, we have not only disregarded both the letter and spirit of the constitution, but have traded away our most fundamental privacy for an immediate benefit which could better have been achieved through public outcry and boycott of the offending institution. This is not a good trade off to be making.


--
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media
[ Parent ]

sounds like you agree with court (4.00 / 1) (#102)
by eLuddite on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 04:00:08 AM EST

I am in favor of anti-discrimination legislation as far as it affects employment, access to public banking, the purchase of property, and the excersize of government. These are all public activities, taking place in the public marketplace or political sphere.

If you click on the link to the decision in this case, the very first thing you will see is

PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin
This should be your first clue that the case refers to a business operating in the public, for the public, using the public's freedom to consume that business' product.

You have a constitutional right to life and liberty.

However, there are no Constitutional business or property rights, there is a right to pursue happiness. Disabled people have the right to pursue happiness in the same society which has *given* PGA Tour Inc. the *privilege* of conducting a successful business in the public, according to public rules.

You do not have a constitutional right to attend a private party I am hosting, nor be a member of a private club I choose to form. I, on the other hand, do have a right to freely associate with whomever I desire, and to exclude those I do not like, for whatever reasons, from my social life.

Be that as it may, a *business* operating in public is subject to all sorts of rules and regulations including but not limited to the rules of legal accounting and the ADA. The right to associate freely isnt applicable since PGA Tour Inc. exercised that right when it associated itself into existence. What counts here is their public activity which reduces, in this case, to asking permission to discriminate unfairly against a disabled employee. PGA Tour Inc. will be the first to tell you that they operate in public, for the public, using the public's freedom to buy the Tour.

I am very opposed to legislation which invades the private sphere any more than absolutely necessary to protect basic constitutional rights

PGA Tour Inc. never made the Constitutional arguement you are making because that arguement is false. Indeed, if you read the decision, you will not find any Constitutional language evoking your arguement. Instructively, nor is there any such language or arguement in the *dissent*.

While I like the result (the guy should be able to play golf, with a cart if necessary), I detest the means.

Indeed, one half of the dissent amounts to an opinion stating that the SCOTUS should have declined to hear this quote silly unquote case. The other half of the dissent differs on an interpretation of the ADA. Three points: (1) the PGA decided to exercise their legal rights fatuosly when they decided to pursue the case as far as the SCOTUS; (2) had the Court declined to hear the case, Martin's victory would have stood on a lower ruling; (3) dissent is not rare and a 7-2 decision is very compelling, particularly since one judge and one judge alone saw the case as an attempt to rewrite arbitrary rules of sport. No judge confused PGA Tour, Inc. with a legal entity that is above ADA. Finally, the rules of the game of golf have not been rewritten since, according to every governing body of golf, there is no walking rule.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Mark Twain settled this years ago (5.00 / 10) (#32)
by streetlawyer on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:11:08 AM EST

Walking is not an activity which is an intrinsic part of golf

Walking is an activity which is spoiled by golf.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

The way I see it (4.14 / 7) (#38)
by BobaFatt on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:16:10 AM EST

If walking is in fact integral to the game of golf, then the court was wrong. If, on the other hand, this is just some rule made up by the PGA, then the court was correct.

This doesn't get us very far, as we end up with an argument as to if walking is integral. However, I reckon that if it was integral, there would be a rule about it in the Rules of Golf. One trip to the Royal and Aincient site and 170 pages of rules later, I see no such rule, so I conclude that it is in fact not integral to golf, and the PGA are just being evil gits.

And thus concludes annother piece of investigative journalism from Jim.
The Management apologise for any convenience caused.

Where is the line? (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by aphrael on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:21:10 AM EST

If, on the other hand, this is just some rule made up by the PGA, then the court was correct

Not necessarily. There's a perfectly valid legal argument that the Court has no business deciding what the rules of Golf are. This is important because, if the Court can determine what the rules of Golf are, it can also determine the rules of, say, Chess; or, for that matter, what steps in an industrial production process are in fact essential. Is it really reasonable to expect that 9 ancient men (ok, 7 ancient men and 2 ancient women) are experts in everything? And if not, shouldn't we expect them to refrain from issuing decisions on questions which they aren't experts on?

[ Parent ]

I take exception to what you wrote (2.57 / 7) (#42)
by Vladinator on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:11:43 AM EST

"This seems to be an extremely subjective opinion."

No, yours is subjective. That opinion was the result of the testimony of medical experts on his condition. Please show us your MD before making such brash stupid statements.
--
LRSE Hosting
Oh come on... (2.33 / 3) (#44)
by trhurler on Wed May 30, 2001 at 11:37:43 AM EST

You know how MDs get that kind of "knowledge?" They ask patients, and then after they've asked a lot of them for their subjective opinions, they write about it in journals, and then other MDs read the journals, and pretend that what is written there is graven in the sphere. The idea that these people have any idea better than the word of the golfer himself about the difficulty of him walking is absurd, especially with a disease so variable in its effects and hard to measure in any quantitative manner. Hell, just the other day, a study was published that says that the supposed placebo effect is almost nonexistent - this refutes a decades old supposition of medical science that every MD in the world would have sworn on his soul was Truth with a capital T. An MD is the guy to go to when you need medical care, but that doesn't make them experts on the difficulty imposed by a disease upon a physical activity; indeed, the most common Reader's Digest-style hero stories are of people who did things their doctors thought impossible - those people aren't heros, but rather their doctors are overconfident fools who read about something in a journal and said, "This is Truth!"

But hey, keep talking shit. I'm sure it sounds good.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You're funny (3.00 / 1) (#93)
by Vladinator on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 01:07:36 PM EST

I have worked in medicine for over eight years. Let's just say that I know a tad more about this than you.

Shithead.
--
LRSE Hosting
[ Parent ]
Where do you draw the line? (4.20 / 10) (#43)
by chazzzzy on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:20:45 AM EST

The problem with allowing him to drive a cart is that the Supreme Court is deciding what's integral to the sport of golf, and not allowing the PGA to decide that. It's the same argument we should have every time we give up a little bit of our free speech, or freedoms, etc.

Will other sports like basketball have to allow people in motorized wheelchairs to play since the object of basketball is to get the ball in the basket? Or how about Tennis, since the object is to get the ball over the net?

I would venture to guess that this rule will have far greater consequences to than we can foresee. Even though I want this guy to be able to play, it's tough to decide where to draw the line, and I see it resulting in future abuses of the system. What happens if this guy now wins every tournament from here on out because he is able to drive a cart? What do you do then?

We need to be very careful every time we GIVE up a right of ours, and the fact that we have disguised this ruling to appear to be "gaining" a right for all handicapped people, what we are really doing is giving up a right of ours to be able to set rules in sports that might affect one or two people, thus opening every sporting entity up to the floodgates of lawsuits! Now there is a precedent, and the lawyers are salivating at the mouth!

Into the narrow corridor with you. (4.50 / 2) (#54)
by aphrael on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:18:11 AM EST

The problem with allowing him to drive a cart is that the Supreme Court is deciding what's integral to the sport of golf,

Scalia made that point with extremely biting sarcasm. But there's another way to look at it: the Court is saying that the law, which demands that it be interpreted broadly, requires that the PGA tour define golf *narrowly*. Which is an interesting concept, especially if it's broadened out .... it's almost as though the Court is saying that the law requires that activities (such as sports) be socially constructed in a way that doesn't impact people with disabilities. Which the law doesn't explicitly do, but it might be a reasonable interpretation nevertheless.

[ Parent ]

what happens if the earth is flat??? (4.00 / 2) (#67)
by eLuddite on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:12:04 AM EST

What happens if this guy now wins every tournament from here on out because he is able to drive a cart? What do you do then?

What happens if the medical evidence detailing this man's infirmities is wrong? Is that what you're asking? Do you understand the decision and its evidence? Did you even bother to read the decision with any intent other than to begrudge "this guy's" potential victories on the basis of strawmen?

According to the PGA's interpretation of the rules of golf, and according to Martin's evidence, Martin's disability more than makes up for any injection of tiredness due to walking. The purpose of walking between holes is not to enjoy the stroll, it is to tire the competitors, not to contribute to the action of the sport. Martin, with the cart, according to the evidence, tires at least as much as the other players because his disability is demonstrably tiresome. Except for a formal reading of the rules without an appeal to their meaning -- a nonsensical exercise for its inability to understand why rules exist -- Martin deserves to play in all PGA events, including those the PGA disapproves of for fear that people's ignorance of his condition will prejudice the *appearance* of fair play.

The purpose of the walking rule is not to appease ignorance ("What happens if this guy now wins every tournament from here on out because he is able to drive a cart") of the effects of a given disability so that the PGA can win a majority of TV viewers who, like you, have heads of straw.

This the ruling in a nutshell: the business of sport must accomodate the disabled whenever the sport is unchanged through their participation. *You* say it has been changed, the scientific *evidence* says it has not.

Now there is a precedent, and the lawyers are salivating at the mouth!

The sky is falling! Its raining strawmen! Get on a wheelchair, take the NHL to court and see how fast you get to become a hockey player.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

I'm simply offering a worst case scenario... (3.00 / 1) (#72)
by chazzzzy on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:44:54 PM EST

.. your comments are duly noted, I'm just showing what happens when the courts get involved in making decisions for us, it sometimes gets a little difficult to know where to draw the line. I am simply playing devil's advocate here, sometimes in order for us to keep our freedoms, there will be worst case scenarios that we have to live with in order to keep those freedoms, such as our "Innocent until proven guilty" freedom that sometimes results in people getting away with crimes. We live with that in order to keep our freedom.

I am simply saying that the PGA might find itself deluged with lawsuits from people suffering all kinds of ailments from bad backs to knee injuries, etc, not wanting to walk, the result will be that the PGA will ultimately have to do away with the walking rule so that they don't get sued to death.

[ Parent ]

Walking part of golf? Next they'll be saying... (3.11 / 9) (#47)
by marlowe on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:23:06 PM EST

that golf is actually a sport.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
As mark twain put it (2.00 / 1) (#53)
by aphrael on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:15:43 AM EST

Golf is a good walk, spoiled.

[ Parent ]
Political Correctness is Stupid (4.00 / 5) (#59)
by mattc on Thu May 31, 2001 at 01:04:08 AM EST

If one player is allowed to use a golf cart, then to be fair all players must be allowed to use a golfcart.

Professional sports are based on an athelete's PHYSICAL ABILITIES. What next? Overweight marathon runners allowed to drive cars? Get real.

Sheesh. (4.00 / 3) (#64)
by loaf on Thu May 31, 2001 at 04:06:53 AM EST

20-25 miles of walking over the course of four days is "significantly tiring"??

Just another reason not to take golf seriously.



Definition? (3.33 / 3) (#76)
by physicsgod on Thu May 31, 2001 at 04:37:46 PM EST

You can't just make something up and say it's part of the definition. From the USGA: "The Game of Golf consists in playing a ball from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules."

Please point out where it says walking is part of the definition.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
We should shoot the first marketing guy... (2.50 / 2) (#88)
by DeanT on Thu May 31, 2001 at 09:09:44 PM EST

who suggests the Casey Martin Cart-Cam

BTW, he should not be allowed to ride a cart. The PGA should accomodate him in some way, but nobody is entitled to play professional sports.

DeanT

Libertarians, laws, and justices, oh my (3.33 / 3) (#101)
by dimwit on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:26:04 AM EST

I think he should be allowed to, absolutely. Several reasons exist for this: 1) The PGA is a corporate entity - it formed itself as a corporation, registered with the government. This would imply that it is going to obey the laws of the government it felt the need to tell about itself. The laws of this government allow him to ride in a cart. 2) Walking is not fundamental to the way the game is played - the official rules say nothing of the sort. Also, if the sport is whatever the PGA says it is, then what if they say only whites are allowed to play? What about right-handed people? (And, I know - what if the US said that the KKK had to allow blacks - different situation. One is a corporation, the other isn't.) 3) It's the right thing to do. I've noticed a lot of people my age have suddenly decided that what they consider the "rights" of private ownership supercede even the slightest intervention by the government. When did this happen? The Constitution does provide a reasonable amount of privacy in conducting affairs, but not as much as people think. The Constitution also provides the fourteenth amendment, which makes ALL citizens subject to equal protection. Remember that the government must strike a balance - people deserve to be given a fair chance in employment (and don't tell me that the PGA doesn't take up enough time to be considered a job), education, housing, and every other thing. Just my two cents. It really does bother me, though, that the kuro5hin readership seems to be so hard-hearted as to say that their expectation of privacy would prevent somone from using a golf cart because of a disability. I thought most geeks were generally liberal and at least somewhat caring...

Vonnegut saw a future this might cause (none / 0) (#104)
by coffee17 on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 03:23:29 PM EST

And did a cute short story on it... I forget the title but it was part of "Welcome to the Monkey House." I'd recommend watching the made-for-TV movie "Harrison Bergeron" which was based on it. The premise is that there's another American revolution, and they decide to take "all men are created equal" as a design flaw, and thus set to making all people equal. You have good vision? Here, wear these blurry glasses. You're a good golfer? Here, have this specially handicapped club. You're a good dancer? Here, put these weights on your legs if you want to dance. Quite worth the watch, and I notice that Amazon has it for $10 and I'm sure other video sellers also carry it.

-coffee


Harrison Bergeron (none / 0) (#106)
by Macrobat on Thu Jun 07, 2001 at 02:47:11 PM EST

"Harrison Bergeron" was the name of the story, too.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Casey Martin Wins Court Case | 106 comments (105 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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