High Court Will Take a Swing

November/December 2000

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High Court Will Take a Swing


Professional golfer Casey Martin, '94 ("The Drive to Win," May/June 1998), may not be out of the woods yet in his fight to challenge the pga's rule prohibiting the use of carts in tournaments. The U.S. Supreme Court in September agreed to hear the pga's appeal of a decision last spring by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld an earlier district court ruling in Martin's favor.

Martin, who suffers from a chronic degenerative circulatory problem in his right leg that makes walking painful, has maintained that the PGA's no-carts policy unfairly limits his opportunity for participation and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The PGA has countered that walking while playing is an essential part of the game and that riding a cart could give Martin a competitive advantage.

In affirming the district court's ruling, the 9th Circuit held that "the provision of a golf cart to Martin was a reasonable accommodation to his disability, and that use of the cart by Martin did not fundamentally alter the nature of the PGA …"

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