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Document Type

Comments

Abstract

On April 7, 2021, in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that websites are not places of public accommodation pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Before the Eleventh Circuit vacated its decision in December 2021, it joined the majority of circuit courts in a split regarding whether Congress intended Title III to apply to websites and other non-physical places. The First, Second, and Seventh Circuits considered Title III’s language broad or ambiguous enough to include web-sites. Conversely, the Third, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits held that Title III unambiguously excludes websites and other non-physical places. Although it vacated Gil, the Eleventh Circuit’s reasoning provides valuable insight as to how this court will decide when it hears another Title III appeal in the future. This comment argues that the Eleventh Circuit, with its extremely narrow interpretation of Title III, erred by disregarding the ambiguity of the Act’s language and should have construed the statute in light of Congress’s purpose.

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