Patterico's Pontifications

5/21/2008

Appeals Court: Paper Money Discriminates Against the Blind

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:55 am



The 2-1 decision may be read here. If it is not reversed, the government will have to change paper money to accommodate the blind.

Hans Bader notes:

The appeals court wrongly gave short shrift to the burden imposed on third parties, suggesting that it did not even need to be considered, even though other federal court rulings recognize that an institution is not required to accommodate a disability or religious practice if doing so would unduly burden third parties. . . . As Judge Randolph noted in dissent, “There are approximately 7,000,000 food and beverage vending machines in the United States; by one estimate, it would cost $3.5 billion to retool or replace these machines.”

Bader also notes that the blind can use credit and debit cards as an alternative to paper money.

Where do the blind stand on this? The National Federation of the Blind issued a press release critical of the district court decision that was upheld yesterday. Overlawyered quoted the president of the organization saying: “Essentially, the United States Treasury has been ordered by the courts to come up with a solution for a nonexistent problem.”

Your law in action!

93 Responses to “Appeals Court: Paper Money Discriminates Against the Blind”

  1. Congress has the right and the duty to impeach and remove judges who misinterpret or invent law. The 2 judges here are prime examples of judges who need to be removed from the bench immediately.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  2. I have a son who is blind since birth, so it would be certainly more convenient to have money identifiable by touch. A blind person without a sighted guide along may, might or could be taken advantage of by certain persons in a money exchange.

    Having said that, I am still not a fan of legislating from the bench. The problem has not been found to be one of great magnitude, blind people have been handling money by folding it in a certain way to identify bills in their possession.

    It would be nice, but not absolutely necessary.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  3. CF, without my piggyback contacts, I am for all intents and purposes, blind. I also need a pair of “Dimestore Cheaters” to read anything like a computer screen, book or currency.

    I view this ruling as pure idiotcy. These judges need help reading the law because they didn’t rule on what is written.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  4. Just proof that “justice” is deaf and dumb, as well as blind.

    Dr. K (5139b5)

  5. This is just a sneaky attempt to abolish paper money and make us use those damn dollar coins for everything.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  6. They want to implant us with a chip which will be our national international i.d. and contain all our financial information as well. Everything will be debited or credited automatically via satellite to and from the Illuminati’s SPECTRE’s Karl Rove’s secret headquarters in the Himalayas.

    nk (d7f5f5)

  7. This really seems to me that the court is taking over Congress’ role to supervise the executive branch. If Congress wanted currency to be altered, it has the power to more clearly direct so than this vague 3 decade old statute.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. Seriously, do you get the impression that the government’s lawyers in this case totally sucked? Did you see any mention of Congress’s Article I powers regarding legal tender?

    nk (d7f5f5)

  9. Each denomination of American bills are the same dimension. When I lived in Europe 30 years ago, to accommodate the blind, each denomination was a different size and color (for the near blind). I think the new Euro system adopted these practices.

    Nevertheless, this issue is not for a court to decide.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  10. Take it from a Canadian who’s been there and still is: you don’t want coins in place of paper. It’s like carrying around an extra pound and a half of junk in your pocket or purse, all day, every day.

    ras (fc54bb)

  11. Just change the cut on the corners to designate each denomination. You could have $1 bills with all corners right angles, $5s with one curved corner, $10s with two curved corners adjacent on the long side, $20 with two curved corners adjacent on the short side, $50s with three curved and $100s with all four corners curved at the edges. Problem solved.

    John (34537e)

  12. there’s one more court to go and lots of time before this decision is implemented for congress to amend the americans with disabilities act. after the coming hyperinflation, the critical skill for blind people will be distinguishing gold, silver and platinum coins.

    assistant devil's advocate (c0b71b)

  13. If the government allowed private currency, then I’d feel differently about this decision. But the law requires citizens to use U.S. dollars as currency, and no other form of money. Thus the law is requiring blind people to pay with money that they can’t distinguish.

    It’s extremely mean-spirited of people to think there’s something wrong with this decision. This sort of thing is precisely what a court is supposed to do — make sure government isn’t run just to make the majority happy, at the expense of everyone else.

    Methinks it’s left-over resentment from Brown v. Board of Education or something.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  14. Problem solved.

    Until some smartass does some cutting with and exacto knife and that $1 becomes $100 to a blind man…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  15. It’s extremely mean-spirited of people to think there’s something wrong with this decision.

    And we’re racists, too…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  16. Johm,

    Good idea … but perhaps you want the higher denoms to be all square corners and the lower denoms to be increasingly rounded off, lest for example some wascally wabbit with a pair of scissors should try to upsize his denominations!

    ras (fc54bb)

  17. make sure government isn’t run just to make the majority happy

    Yeah, screw the idea of democracy!!

    Phil, even the association for BLIND PEOPLE think this is a crap ruling…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  18. What is “the association for BLIND PEOPLE”? Even if it exists, somehow I bet its opinion is more nuanced than “this is a crap ruling.”

    “Yeah, screw the idea of democracy!!”

    Screw the idea that the majority can use government to force a minority to do something that’s just convenient for the majority. Like use U.S. government currency that is useless.

    Again, if blind people were legally allowed to use something else (and don’t say credit cards until everyone you meet has a credit card scanner) then it would be different.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  19. Scott and ras:

    Your probably right that it should go in the opposite direction, with the right angles on the $100s. It wouldn’t stop someone from rounding off a corner to fool a blind person, but it would net them lower denominations.

    But given all the changes over the past decade the government has made in the look of U.S. currency, I don’t think cropping an edge or two (or three) off the bills would be a very big change.

    Now if some judicial ruling mandated elimination of the $1 bill and its replacement by the $1 coin because it discriminated against the blind, given the public’s hostility towards the last two attempts to eliminate the $1 bill, then you’d see normally disinterested people up in arms over judicial activism.

    John (34537e)

  20. Actually, I’m guessing we could leave the $1 bill exactly the same, and just alter all other bills. That also solves the problem with most vending machines.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  21. Phil,

    In a democracy, majority rules. This is a Representative Republic, not a Judicial Theoracy.

    This ruling is all wrong in that it ignores the burdens on the many by the few.

    You will always have people cheating other people any chance they get. The movie “Dumb & Dumber” made that statement when Lloyd sold a dead bird to a blind kid played by Macauley Culkin.

    Ray Charles got along with paper currency that was all the same color. Why can’t you?

    PCD (5c49b0)

  22. A thought. Has any ADA case that has made it to the Supreme Court been upheld? Here’s a chance for Scalia to trim ADA back a little more.

    nk (d7f5f5)

  23. Good grief. Rounded and cut corners? Varying sizes of bills? Sounds like a counterfeiter’s dream to me. Just emboss the bills with Braille and move on.

    EHeavenlyGads (f29174)

  24. Just change the cut on the corners to designate each denomination. You could have $1 bills with all corners right angles, $5s with one curved corner,…

    A simpler solution would be to just emboss the denominations on the corners of the bills, hell you could do it in braille. It would be infintely less expensive to pull off as well.

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  25. What is “the association for BLIND PEOPLE”? Even if it exists, somehow I bet its opinion is more nuanced than “this is a crap ruling.”

    You’re kind of stupid, aren’t you…

    I quote Patterico when I say the following:

    Where do the blind stand on this? The National Federation of the Blind issued a press release .critical of the district court decision that was upheld yesterday.Overlawyered quoted the president of the organization saying: “Essentially, the United States Treasury has been ordered by the courts to come up with a solution for a nonexistent problem.”

    So no, you must not read too good…

    *mutters* Idiot…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  26. It’s extremely mean-spirited of people to think there’s something wrong with this decision.

    Not only is it mean-spirited, it is also racist, sexist, and homophobic. I denounce you all.

    But especially, Phil. Which makes me a illiterate-ist.

    JD (75f5c3)

  27. Forget Phil. Phil is stef Lite. Who is Levi Lite. Who is AF Lite. Who is Ehrenstein Lite.

    nk (d7f5f5)

  28. It’s extremely mean-spirited of people to think there’s something wrong with this decision.

    Darn those blind people for bein’ haters on them blind folk…

    Oh, wait…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  29. “Did you see any mention of Congress’s Article I powers regarding legal tender?”

    I’m assuming they’re interpreting a law passed by congress.

    stef (84a199)

  30. Did not paper currency exist when the Constitution was written?

    Did not the United States issue paper currency during the lifetimes of those that wrote the Constitution?

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  31. Not only is it mean-spirited, it is also racist, sexist, and homophobic. I denounce you all.

    You forgot Polarbearphobic.

    davod (5bdbd3)

  32. Buncha phobophobics…

    I have no idea if that’s a word…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  33. Someone on Volokh pointed to the new Canadian currency which is touch accessible. Cutting or notching has to be done in a fashion that precludes counterfeit cuts.

    I am inclined to agree that the judge over stepped, but why didn’t the Treasury think of this?

    htom (412a17)

  34. The government could have a credit card size hand scanner with speech output that could read and verify any bill and give one to every blind person for way less than changing the bills.

    They are now sheared in large stacks to finished size, To modify the corners would require die cutting in short stacks and would add a lot of work to the bills. Embossing them with Braille would make them be rejected by bill changers and the stacks would be thicker where the embossing was making them cumbersome to handle.

    Hazy (56a0a8)

  35. I’m phobic-phobic.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  36. Don’t you guys get tired of being predictable? J

    ust once, I’d like to see you guys support (or at least tolerate) the government when it’s doing something other maintaining the status quo, killing people, kicking them out of the country, or throwing them in jail.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  37. God your dumb…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  38. Just once, I’d like to see you guys support (or at least tolerate) the governmentcourts when it’s doing something other maintaining the status quo, killing people, kicking them out of the country, or throwing them in jail completely disregarding the law and fabricating a decision out of whole cloth.

    There. I fixed it for you.

    physics geek (6669a4)

  39. Phil, you really are the more predictable. You’ve missed the entire point of the discussion completely.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  40. you’re*

    Long day.

    Phil, listen… There is “doing something good”, and then there’s this. There exists no actual PROBLEM here. This doesn’t SOLVE anything.

    It actually causes more problems! In addition to the billions to retool or replace bill-scanners for everything from soda-machines to train/metro ticket kiosks, there’s also the billions to replace cash registers and their drawers which are designed for bills that share the same dimensions, plus the cost of fixing the spaces the current drawers fit into.

    Basicly all of retail would have to put out at LEAST the same as the vending machine industry.

    Or, blind people can continue to act as they have basicly since paper money became common.

    You’re choice, really. I understand you’re too stupid to grasp these concepts, but could you try?

    And again, that whole “kicking people out” thing is BS.

    They aren’t supposed to be here in the first place YOU GRAND THUNDERING MORON!!!!

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  41. Just once, I’d like to see you guys support (or at least tolerate) the governmentcourts when it’s doing something other maintaining the status quo, killing people, kicking them out of the country, or throwing them in jail completely disregarding the law and fabricating a decision out of whole cloth.

    Apparently, I can’t embed strikethroughs inside of blockquotes. Sorry about that.

    physics geek (6669a4)

  42. Gee, how can the government be killing people or kicking them out when Phil is still here?

    PCD (5c49b0)

  43. ust once, I’d like to see you guys support (or at least tolerate) the government when it’s doing something other maintaining the status quo, killing people, kicking them out of the country, or throwing them in jail.

    Those voices and caricatures in your head, you would be well served to not listen to them.

    JD (75f5c3)

  44. I might be more inclined to believe that “there is no problem” if it wasn’t for the fact that the American Counsel of the Blind was the lead plaintiff.

    The press release from the NFB leads me to believe it’s mad that it wasn’t the lead plaintiff in this case — when you read what it is asking for instead of just better money, you might change your mind. From the press release saying there’s no problem with paper money:

    If America really wants to improve opportunities for education and employment of the blind, then it should focus on providing Braille instruction to the 90 percent of blind children who are not getting it, effective training for the 70 percent of blind adults who are unemployed, and books for the approximately 300,000 people who are about to be locked out of the only library for the blind.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  45. From the ACB (the plaintiff)’s press release:
    Mitch Pomerantz, President of the American Council of the Blind, stated: “This is a tremendous victory for the ACB and for every blind and visually impaired person living in the United States today and in the future. We hope that the treasure department will now sit down with us to come up with a mutually satisfactory way of making our currency accessible.”

    “Virtually all of the other industrialized countries around the globe have accessible currency, and this is long overdue for the United States,” commented Dr. Ron E. Milliman, who chairs ACB’s Public Relations Committee. “There are over 180 nations that have some sort of accessibility built in to their paper currency. Currencies used by countries such as Canada, Australia, Japan, England, and even the Euro have accessibility features.

    “The U.S. is rather unique in that it is one of very few industrialized nations that has resisted including shape, size, texture, or meaningful color contrast in its bank notes,” said Melanie Brunson, Executive Director of ACB.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  46. National Federation of the Blind, the best known organization for blind Americans, has issued a press release sharply critical of the lawsuit and the ruling (“dangerously misguided”) (Yahoo/PRNewswire, Nov. 29). According to Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, “The blind need jobs and real opportunities to earn money, not feel-good gimmicks that misinform the public about our capabilities. Blind people transact business with paper money every day. … [The ruling] argues that the blind cannot handle currency or documents in the workplace and that virtually everything must be modified for the use of the blind. An employer who believes that every piece of printed material in the workplace must be specially designed so that the blind can read it will have a strong incentive not to hire a blind person.” More from the NFB press release:

    Blind people traditionally identify paper currency by folding bills of different denominations in different ways. “In reality, blind people do not routinely find that we have been short-changed,” Maurer commented. Machines are readily available to identify paper money for blind people who run businesses or handle large amounts of cash. “Essentially, the United States Treasury has been ordered by the courts to come up with a solution for a nonexistent problem,” Maurer said.

    JD (75f5c3)

  47. This is a perfect example of something that the courts should not be inserting themselves into. It should be Congress making these policy decisions, not the courts bootstrapping off some vague statute.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  48. It is really not that difficult to click on the links provided, Phil.

    But what do we know, we are just a bunch of racist homophobic sexists. And that polarbearphobe thing too. And midgets. And clowns.

    JD (75f5c3)

  49. I like midgets, JD.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  50. Hey, guess what — the National Federation for the Blind actually sells electronic money readers. Except – doh! – they’re unavailable right now.

    http://secure.nfb.org/ecommerce/asp/prodtype.asp?prodtype=18&ph=&keywords=&recor=&SearchFor=&PT_ID=

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  51. Hey, I should have added onto my list that a lot of you folks support the government taking children away from their parents if the court is suspicious of the parents’ religion (in addition to maintaining the status quo, killing people, kicking them out of the country, or throwing them in jail.) Just please, dear god, don’t inconvenience us to help blind people!

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  52. Four unelected judicial idiots are now deciding that our money discriminates against the blind HEY HELLEN KELLER is luaghing in her grave so is JOSIE FELECIANO even those guide dogs thinks this ruling is rediculous THOSE JUDGES ARE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS THEY ALL SHOULD BE IMPEACHED INCLUDING THOSE FOUR JERKS FROM THE CALIFORNIA STUPIDPEUM COURT

    krazy kagu (06d0a6)

  53. Phil, your comments are getting sillier. That’s just a strawman built on a non sequitur.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  54. SPQR –

    You channeling WSC? If so, need to add that it’s “wrapped in” a something-or-other.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  55. Outlaw all paper currency, and go back to coins; each denomination having its’ own unique size and/or shape – or use credit cards for everything!

    And, how does this apply to chips in casinos?
    How are the blind to know their value?

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  56. SPQR –

    (forgot to add smiley in #52)

    😉

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  57. There is a sign in Tuscumbia, AL, home of Helen Keller, that says “Come see all the things Helen Keller never saw”.

    Phil – Adjust the meds. They are not working.

    JD (75f5c3)

  58. It is a parody of a satire, wrapped up in a heaping helping of hyperbole.

    JD (75f5c3)

  59. How is it nonsequetor? In this thread, howls of outrage about a court interpreting the law to protect blind people; murmers of approval in the threads next door about a court/prosecutor taking children away from their families en mass because of a suspicion and an anonymous phone call, and about prosecutors arguing that we should build more jails.

    Oh, and don’t forget the groundswell of support for endless war, domestic spying, imprisonment without rights for anyone who might hypothetically pose a threat, and border walls.

    In other words, protect your own interests/values by any means necessary, no matter who gets killed/injured/jailed unjustly; but don’t protect the interests of the blind unless it can be done without inconveniencing anyone else in the slightest.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  60. jim, an unconscious homage to Winston.

    Phil, because the issue here is the court inventing a policy decision that Congress never made specifically based on a vague statute Congress never indicated applied to the Treasury in this manner. This issue has nothing to do with the policies of a child protective service in a state – and I don’t think there is any coherent analogy to be made between them.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  61. Of course you don’t think there’s a coherent analogy — you support one judical/executive act, and disapprove of the other.

    I could just as easily say that the policy to take a whole town full of children and farm them out for adoption based on the possible wrongdoing of a few men was “inventing a policy decision that [the Texas Legislature] never made specifically.” Unless you can point me to some provision in the Texas family law code that precisely authorizes mass confiscation of FLDS children by CPS.

    The CPS action is probably based on a broadly worded remedial statute — just like the case here was with regard to the disabled. Of course, the CPS is tearing apart families of people who you don’t identify with, so no alarm bells go off, whereas the ADA inconveniences people just like you, so it raises your hackles.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  62. The clue to the failure of your analogy can be found here, Phil: “judical/executive act”. It didn’t improve.

    As for the ADA, I’ve experience in defending cases of its misuse and the misuse of similar statutes. This case is actually about a different statute, Phil, so again you are getting yourself lost.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  63. Gee, how can the government be killing people or kicking them out when Phil is still here?

    Actually, Phil is posting from Gitmo. He would post more often, but his duties as Religious and Cultural Diet Committee Chair cut into the time he’s allotted for internet usage. And he’s working on his bodacious tan.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  64. the failure of your analogy can be found here, Phil: “judical/executive act”.

    Fine, you can niggle with the analogy. So you like arbitrary government force when it’s prosecutors, but don’t like it when it’s judges? That’s your distinction?

    This case is actually about a different statute, Phil, so again you are getting yourself lost.

    Again, that’s relevant how? The point is, you get mad about arbitrary government action not specifically authorized by the legislature when it’s done on behalf of the blind, and inconveniences you. But you are fine with it if it somehow enforces your own personal value system or marginally increases your sense of security — thus, wholescale war, unjust treatment of various minorities you don’t identify with, arbitrary police action, oppressive immigration policies, etc, all get grunts of approval.

    The fact that this is arbitrary government action (or that it’s by a judge) has nothing to do with your disapproval. You don’t like it because it benefits blind people and inconveniences (or you imagine it might) inconvenience you or people like you.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  65. Phil, you are getting even more lost when you try to tell me my motivations. To claim that I don’t like something that benefits blind people is just a cheap and juvenile insult on your part. Try being an adult, Phil.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. I don’t think you dislike the law because it benefits blind people. I think you dislike it because you believe the law inconveniences, or might inconvenience, you.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  67. I don’t think you dislike the law because it benefits blind people. I think you dislike it because you believe the law inconveniences, or might inconvenience, you

    You must not pay a lot of attention to what you type either…

    You don’t like it because it benefits blind people and inconveniences (or you imagine it might) inconvenience you or people like you.

    So yeah…

    You freaking dumb-ass liar…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  68. So Phil, then why did you write the opposite? I’ll act as you do, and invent a motivation: You lied about my motivations to make yourself a hero to your audience.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  69. You don’t like it because it benefits blind people and inconveniences (or you imagine it might) inconvenience you or people like you.

    My point was not to accuse you of wanting nothing good to happen to blind people.

    My point was that when a law benefits YOU and really hurts SOMEONE ELSE (who cares who — blind people, immigrants, Iraqis, terrorism suspects, crime suspects, FLDS kids, etc), you are fine with it.

    And when a law benefits SOMEONE ELSE and merely inconveniences you, you start complaining about arbitrary, activist government.

    I do think it’s funny that in this case it’s the BLIND, a group that throughout history has been one of the groups most universially agreed to be entitled to some level of societal accomodation.

    So I point out the fact that the law helps the blind, not because you have something in particular against blind people, but because I think you’re so damn selfish that you can’t even accept a little inconvenience to help the blind.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  70. Phil, your explanations don’t improve your comments. Neither your command of english nor your command of the psychic ability to read my mind are impressing me.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  71. Well, SPQR, your abililty to express a valid reason for criticising this decision is not impressing me.

    So if we were here to impress each other this would be rather pointless discussion, no?

    Hopefully you’re not here to impress me (if you are, you should give up); I don’t care if I impress you.

    I would, however, like to know what other possible justification for criticizing this decision you might have — besides the fact that the decision might inconvenience you. Because if there is another reason out there, I’d like to know about it.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  72. Maybe Phil, if you spent more time reading my comments than you spent at the Ouiji board inventing my thoughts, you’d find out.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  73. Well, again…the law not only would not inconvenience me in the slightest (nor would it inconvenience anyone I know), it would provide a direct benefit to the boy who bears my name.

    I simply do not feel that it is appropriate to legislate from the bench. The bench and one judge are a poor tool for this type of “social fix” for problems that really should be handled by another branch of the government.

    Having appeared in front of hundreds of judges, I have a healthy respect for the difference in quality of their decisions and rulings.

    Having one judge command by judicial fiat, that which should be explored in great detail by folks who have expertise in a myriad of fields necessary to do this well and properly…would eliminate the oftentimes horrid results stemming from well intentioned but poorly executed “cures” for societal needs and ills.

    cfbleachers (e6f785)

  74. cfbleachers, well Phil’s Ouiji board says that you are really just a mean person.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  75. SPQR said “This is a perfect example of something that the courts should not be inserting themselves into. It should be Congress making these policy decisions, not the courts bootstrapping off some vague statute.”

    The decision cites the following statutes:

    No otherwise qualified individual with a disability . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in . . . any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency . . . .
    29 U.S.C. § 794.

    29 U.S.C. § 701(b)(1).
    Congress expressly found : that
    [D]isability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to
    (A) live independently;
    (B) enjoy self-determination;
    (C) make choices;
    (D) contribute to society;
    (E) pursue meaningful careers; and
    (F) enjoy full inclusion and integration in the
    economic, political, social, cultural, and
    educational mainstream of American society
    .
    29 U.S.C. § 701(a)(3).

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  76. Yep, Phil, as I said, a vague statute whose applicability is quite a stretch.

    Congress directs the Treasury in its exercise of Congress’ Art I power to coin money, and Congress should make these policy decisions, not the court.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  77. So .. what about movies ?

    Do they come in “Visual Braille” ?

    Neo (cba5df)

  78. I wish Phil didn’t assume blind people were so incompetent and needy. I wish he understood that vast numbers have managed through perserverance to function and gracefully move through life in spite of their blindness, and perhaps in the end developed an even greater sight than most. (Perhaps he missed the link supplied that the NFB were critical of this decision?)

    When ATMs came on the scene with their Braille pads, I always wondered why bills weren’t also embossed with it.

    Dana (c93fbc)

  79. #32 Hazy:

    Embossing them with Braille would make them be rejected by bill changers and the stacks would be thicker where the embossing was making them cumbersome to handle.

    Not any bill changer that works properly. And I am not sure who you are worried about handling them. Businesses find ways to handle cash.

    #34 Phil:

    ust once, I’d like to see you guys support (or at least tolerate) the government when it’s doing something other maintaining the status quo, killing people, kicking them out of the country, or throwing them in jail.

    You’ve done a pretty fair job of enumerating what the functions of our government are supposed to be limited to, in spite of couching them in negative language.

    Since anything additional would pretty much be a corruption of the Constitution, which I am not inclined to tolerate; why in the world would I lend support to such garbage?

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  80. Just emboss the bills with Braille and move on.

    Exactly.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  81. You could solve this by putting a tiny chip inside each bill — something unpowered like RFID but simpler, with maybe a 1 inch range. The blind could wear a ring that would tell them what the bill was, by beep or voice, and the rest of us would go on pretty much the same. If the range was kept very short (and it would have to be to avoid cacophony), there would be no privacy problem. It would help in fighting counterfeits as well.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  82. Thanks for the statute, Phil. It looks like Congress invited the courts to make policy, and the courts obliged. Inasmuch as the result is problematic, the fault lies with Congress, not the court.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  83. jpe, I suggest you review Art I and Art II of the Constitution again.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  84. #81 Kevin Murphy:

    You could solve this by putting a tiny chip inside each bill — something unpowered like RFID but simpler, with maybe a 1 inch range.

    There already is, which is how bill changers work.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  85. You are all just racist sexist homophobes.

    JD (5f0e11)

  86. SPQR- Congress did act, who do you think created the statute that the judges interpreted? You’re blaming judges for doing their job, a judge’s job is to interpret Congress’ laws. Here they are interpreting the effect of a vague statute on the fact that our currency doesn’t accomodate the blind. Congress made a policy decision in creating a statute who’s interpretation is left open for judges.

    Adam J (601ca3)

  87. Adam J., a weak argument in itself. Congress never made a policy decision about the currency. They stated that disabled people would not be disqualified from participating in federal programs and activities “solely” as a result of their handicap. There is a far leap from that to stating that the nation’s currency, the specification of which is wholly in Congress’ hands, has to change. That’s a policy choice that courts are poorly equipped to decide.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  88. “There is a far leap from that to stating that the nation’s currency, the specification of which is wholly in Congress’ hands, has to change. ”

    When redesigns are done, isn’t it the treasury that does them, not Congress? I don’t see why you fetishize Congress here. They’ve clearly handed off the policy.

    stef (b7ee98)

  89. SPQR- tell me where the case says that- the case says currency only identifiable by sight denies the blind meaningful access, which makes sense since they’re forced to rely on expensive, inaccurate and bulky machines or have blind faith in others (no pun intended). I’m baffled that you don’t think Courts can’t use the ADA can force Congress to give meaningful access here, simply because it’s currency. Next you’ll tell me that can’t force them to have a ramp into the post office, cause Congress has the authority to establish post offices.

    Adam J (601ca3)

  90. Our current paper currency discriminates against people with no hands too. Maybe they should have to cover every bill with a sticky substance, or velcro.

    JD (5f0e11)

  91. Adam – this was not an ADA case. That is part of the point.

    JD (5f0e11)

  92. Our currency also discriminates against the illiterate like Levi. How can we solve this ?

    JD (5f0e11)

  93. Adam J:

    which makes sense since they’re forced to rely on expensive, inaccurate and bulky machines

    Having worked in the coin-op industry for a while,

    I’m baffled that you don’t think

    that inexpensive money readers aren’t relatively easily available.

    When was the last time a vending machine gave you incorrect change?

    (Which happens, which is why there is usually a sticker that says “For service call …” It is, after all a mechanical device subject to wear and tear. But if they were as unreliable as you suggest, there wouldn’t be a coin-op industry.)

    EW1(SG) (84e813)


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