New Hampshire’s House Speaker wants to revisit court ruling on remote access

New Hampshire
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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s House Speaker wants to revisit a decision by an appeals court to vacate a judge’s ruling that upheld his refusal to provide remote access to legislative sessions to lawmakers at a higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

Lawyers representing Sherman Packard are planning to seek a rehearing on the case, according to court documents Wednesday.

Seven Democratic lawmakers sued Packard, a Republican, arguing that holding in-person sessions without a remote option violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the state and federal constitutions, and forces them to either risk their lives or abandon their duties as elected officials.

A federal judge ruled against them, saying the House could proceed with in-person sessions. But the Boston-based 1st Circuit Court of Appeals last week sent the case back to the judge with instructions to hold further proceedings to determine if the plaintiffs are “persons with disabilities within the meaning” of the ADA or the federal Rehabilitation Act.

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