by Melanie Brunson
Ninety days have now passed since the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia handed down their decision declaring the U.S. Treasury Department to be in violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 because they do not provide people who are blind and visually impaired meaningful access to United States currency. With the passing of this 90- day period, we also reach the deadline by which the government must file any appeal of this court decision. No such appeal has been filed. Thus, we begin the next phase in this litigation.
The judges of the D.C. Circuit Court sent the issue of remedies back to Judge Robertson of the U.S. District Court for his further consideration. Therefore, it is now up to Judge Robertson to determine what sort of relief to grant in order to implement the decision he made previously, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
A status conference was held on Sept. 4 in Judge Robertson's court, during which he made it clear that he will not brook any unnecessary delay in the process of determining the remedies to be ordered, or their implementation by the government of the United States. The process may take some time because of the many factors that must be considered in determining the most effective manner by which banknotes will be made distinguishable by people who are blind and visually impaired. However, this judge made it clear to both sides in this case that he is serious about getting it done!
This is a significant development for ACB and for people all over this country who are blind or who have low vision. We will keep you apprised as the case moves forward and we have further details to share with readers of "The Braille Forum." You may also want to call the Washington Connection periodically to get faster access to updates that may be available between issues of this magazine.