Adult guardianship is used as a method to restrict the decisionmaking rights of some individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities who have been deemed “incompetent.” However, the use of guardianship to remove someone’s decisionmaking rights violates the equal protection rights granted by the New Mexico Constitution. Discrimination against people with developmental disabilities must be substantially related to an important governmental interest, and the current state of guardianship fails to meet that bar. Further, guardianship violates the state constitutional guarantee of due process because it infringes on the fundamental right to the least restrictive means of care. New Mexico must adopt the less restrictive alternative of supported decision-making as the default to restricting the decision-making rights of people with developmental disabilities to rectify its unconstitutional use of guardianship.



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