Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, October 12, 2012

Legal champion of disability rights to receive Neubacher Award

The U-M Council for Disability Concerns has announced that Samuel R. Bagenstos, professor of law, will receive the 2012 James T. Neubacher Award in recognition of his highly effective advocacy and considerable scholarship on disability rights.  


Samuel R. Bagenstos


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Regent Julia Donovan Darlow will present the award to Bagenstos at 10 a.m. Oct. 26 in the Rackham Building's fourth floor Assembly Hall. The event is open to the public. 

Following a stint as visiting professor at the Law School in 2008, Bagenstos joined the law faculty in 2009 — a post he left temporarily to serve as principal deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights (2009-11) in the Civil Rights Division of the U. S. Department of Justice.

At the Justice Department, he was responsible for appellate, disability rights and special litigation. His major achievements included promulgation of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, the first comprehensive ADA update since its passage in 1991.  

Bagenstos also championed vigorous enforcement of Olmstead v. L.C., the landmark 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision that guarantees people with disabilities the right to live and receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate. He has testified before Congress in support of the Fair Pay Restoration Act, the ADA Amendments Act, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the problem of mental illness in prisons, and the ADA's application to advancing technology.

At the Law School, Bagenstos specializes in civil rights law, public law and litigation, while he continues to litigate at the appellate and Supreme Court levels in civil rights and federalism cases on issues such as the constitutionality of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is the author of several books and scholarly articles.

Established in 1990 by the Council for Disability Concerns and co-sponsored by the Office of the President, the Neubacher Award memorializes and celebrates the accomplishments of U-M alumnus and Detroit Free Press columnist James T. Neubacher, who advocated tirelessly for equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.