A case pending in the U.S. Supreme Court, Harris v. Quinn, could cause unrest for as many as 30,000 people with disabilities and the people who care for them. Disabilities-rights advocates say that these 30,000 people rely on Illinois’ home care system to live independently and avoid isolation in long-term care facilities. In late December, the advocates filed amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” briefs urging the justices to uphold two lower court decisions that denied a bid to change the way the state administers a home care program serving 30,000 people with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid funding.
Thousands of low-wage home care workers – members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois — who deliver care also could be impacted by the case brought by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which seeks to hamper the union’s collective bargaining rights. But advocates for consumers in the program told the court that collective bargaining has promoted the stability and quality of home care for seniors and people with disabilities by curbing chronic turnover in the profession.
Read the briefs below.