“Judge Barrett’s record demonstrates a hostility to rights that are critically important to
people with disabilities.” This statement is from a letter sent to the Senate by more than 50 disability advocacy groups, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and the National Council on Independent Living, among others.
These groups are calling on senators to reject Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination because of her record in cases relevant to disability rights. She would gut the Affordable Care Act, which is crucial for people with disabilities: It protects those with preexisting conditions, requires coverage of mental health and habilitation services, has increased home- and community-based services options, and more. She ruled as nondiscriminatory a program in Wisconsin that allowed students with special needs to be excluded from spots in school districts because of those needs. Republicans are trying to rush the confirmation process with unprecedented speed, in a blatant exercise of raw power, just as they did in refusing to take up President Barack Obama’s nomination of an eminently qualified jurist. They are doing this instead of passing relief legislation that actually would save the lives and livelihoods of those with and without disabilities.
I just talked to a neighbor who went to the Motor Vehicle Division and had to wait (in line) for an hour and a half to renew her driver’s license. She said the earliest appointment available was in January. Come on, of all the problems we face today, this should be one of the easiest to fix. All you need is office space and computers. Would someone please just fix this (governor?) and take a bow. A little good news would be good for all of us.
An apolitical court
It is unfortunate that some (“GOP scamming Catholic voters,” Oct. 8) believe the Supreme Court’s function is to “stop abortion.” The Supreme Court is supposed to decide cases based solely on its interpretation of a law’s adherence (or nonadherence) to constitutional principles and precedent. The court isn’t supposed to “stop” (or start) anything based on people’s beliefs, no matter how fervently held, or even how good a law is (or isn’t). Congress makes the laws. The Supreme Court decides whether they exceed constitutional boundaries. That’s why it is important that the court be as apolitical and nonpartisan as possible, a concept that has been badly eroded in recent years.
I had a heavy heart after I drove by the tastefully done tribute to “We are United” on St. Francis Drive. This display of First Amendment rights was vandalized, and the American flag, the rainbow flag and the Black Lives Matter flag were torn down. Those on the far right who “wear patriotism on their sleeve” (and I don’t mean the military and first responders who are the true patriots of this crisis) truly don’t understand the Constitution and the democratic process. To those harborers of hate and ignorance, I repeat what someone, who paraphrased Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., said: “Your rights end where my rights begin.” (“The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”)
Jurisprudence, the single most important ability in the judicial system, is honed after years of sitting on the bench, presiding over case after case. Said jurisprudence, as well as knowledge of the law and Constitution, are mandatory requisites for any member of the Supreme Court, the highest court in America. A neophyte judge with less than three years of experience, regardless of party affiliation, religious beliefs or leanings, has no place at the bench with the other justices who make up the Supreme Court. It is appalling to watch Congress attempt to convince the populace otherwise, all in the name of conservatism.
Priscilla Shannon Gutierrez
Wear masks to vote
Recently, I voted early. It took an hour and a half, which was expected. What I did not expect was standing in line behind two women (mother and adult daughter) who did not wear masks. From things I overheard them say, I believed that my mentioning something would not end pleasantly, so I kept my mouth shut. But why were there no signs along the line saying that all should wear masks? Where were police citing people who were not masked and fining them? Why were poll workers — all masked — not instructed to remind people?
The whole book
With regards to the editorial (“A bad choice does not define a life,” Our View, Oct. 7): No one would read just one chapter of a book and claim they understood the entire book. A single bad choice does not define who we are. Keep turning the pages, keep learning, keep moving forward and keep making the world a better place. Roger Montoya is a true hero for all he has done for our community.
Thank you, Santa Fe New Mexican, for making my Wednesday newspaper with the Taste section and Marianne Sundquist’s column on her wonderful recipes — a fun food fest. In these trying times, it’s a great stress reliever. I look forward, as do many other readers, to future Wednesday recipes.