Court Upholds Involuntary Commitments For People With Disabilities
A law allowing people with developmental disabilities to be committed involuntarily without any conviction of wrongdoing is constitutional, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled late last week.
The ruling affirms a 2005 law known as the Developmental Disabilities Court-Ordered Custody Act, which gave the state the authority to place those with developmental disabilities in mental hospitals if they are determined to be dangerous.
The law was challenged by a resident with an IQ of 62 who was committed by the state. In the case, attorneys for the individual, identified as C.R., argued that the law was unconstitutional since it does not require the state to prove at trial that a person is likely to do something threatening in the future.
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On Friday, however, the Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of involuntary commitments saying that the level of proof currently required of the state is sufficient. Specifically, the court cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows for a lesser standard when committing those with intellectual disability as opposed to people with mental illness.