“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.

Katrin Smithback

Santa Fe

Too long

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.

Jim Pierce

Santa Fe

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.

Brian Weiss

Santa Fe

Heavy heart

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.”)

Ed Coderre

Santa Fe

Too inexperienced

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

Santa Fe

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?

Cynthia Turner

Santa Fe

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.

Tom Wise

Santa Fe

Food fest

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.

Ellen Arias

Santa Fe

(2) comments

Lee DiFiore

Jim Pierce, there are many state workers, including those at MVD, who have been on a 7 month full pay and benefits vacation not doing anything. Wouldn't we all like one of those jobs? I'm sure many service workers who have been unemployed for that same period because of the governor's faulty health restrictions would.

Stefanie Beninato

If you value the First Amendment you will not vote for Bryan Biedschied. In one case, he ordered a woman in her 70s not to report health and safety violations of neighbors to appropriate government agencies without his prior approval. When the woman discovered the other party was a former client of Biedschied (conflict of interest), he was removed from the case. The next judge (Maria Sanchez Gaugy) found that restriction to be a "clear violation of the First Amendment". In my peace symbol case, Biedschied decided it was graffiti-like because he could disconnect the meaning of the symbol from its presentation (paint on my wall). He found it a private nuisance because my neighbor could "see it". It is on my property and it was 2 ft wide on a 112 ft wall at the sidewalk. My neighbor falsely claimed ownership of the wall not being offended by seeing it. Biedscheid has yet to have her prove any allegations in her complaint...Bad judges are at every level. I know many people have no contact with courts but when you do, you should be able to go in front of an ethical judge who makes every attempt to apply the law fairly.

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