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Does the Rehabilitation Act Require the Redesign of Federal Currency to Help the Visually Impaired?:
Today Judge Robertson of the United States District Court in D.C. ordered the Treasury to redesign federal currency so it can be more easily handled by the blind and visually impaired. (lvHB) I have no background in the relevant area of law, but I thought I would take a quick look at the legal issues. My tentative conclusion: Judge Roberston's opinion doesn't strike me as persuasive.

  The relevant statute is the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and particular Section 504, codified at 29 U.S.C. 794:
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.
  In an opinion by Justice Marshall in Alexander v. Choate, 496 U.S. 287 (1985), the Supreme Court interpreted this to "require[] that an otherwise qualified handicapped individual must be provided with meaningful access to the benefit that the grantee offers." (emphasis added).

  The crux of Judge Robertson's opinion is that designing currency without special accomodations to the visually impaired denies them "meaningful acceess" to the benefit of currency:
[B]lind or visually impaired people cannot make effective use of American currency without help. There was a time when disabled people had no choice but to ask for help – to rely on the "kindness of strangers." It was thought to be their lot. Blind people had to ask strangers to push elevator buttons for them. People in wheelchairs needed Boy Scouts to help them over curbs and up stairs. We have evolved, however, and Congress has made our evolution official, by enacting the Rehabilitation Act, whose stated purpose is "to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society." 29 U.S.C. § 701(b)(emphasis added). It can no longer be successfully argued that a blind person has "meaningful access" to currency if she cannot accurately identify paper money without assistance.
  I am totally and completely new to this area, so maybe my take is way off. But Judge Robertson's analysis doesn't seem right to me. The Supreme Court's decision in Choate requires that the government program must provide "meaningful access to the benefit that the grantee offers," not meaningful use of any benefit that originated with the grantee. Going back to the statutory text, the question is whether the disabled person is "denied the benefits of" the federal program. But the visually impaired are not denied the benefits of federal currency, and are not denied meaningful access to currency. They can obtain currency like anyone else, and they can spend it like anyone else. Rather, their use of the currency that is provided under a federal program is more difficult for them than for people with sight. This may be troubling as a policy matter; changing the currency to help the blind may be a good idea. But it's not clear to me that it is needed to give visually impaired persons "meaningful access" to currency.

  Judge Robertson notes one case that seems at least somewhat on his side. He explains:
In United States v. Board of Trustees for University of Alabama, 908 F.2d 740 (11th Cir. 1990), federal regulations requiring the provision of sign-language interpreters for the hearing impaired were upheld, because, "in the case of a deaf student . . . all access to the benefit of some courses is eliminated when no signlanguage interpreter is present." Id. at 748.
  I agree that this case is at least somewhat analogous. Providing sign-language interpreters so deaf students can understand classes is something like providing mechanisms on currency to permit visually impaired individuals to identify currency. At the same time, I think there may be two relevant differences. First, it's unclear from the the 11th Circuit decision whether that court was giving this issue de novo review or Chevron deference. Second, a deaf person who has no interpreter and can't effectively read lips can't actually receive the communication of the class that are the government benefit. Access is effectively denied: The benefit is the class's communication of ideas, and a hearing-impaired student doesn't get that at all without an interpreter. In contrast, the visually impaired person still can obtain currency; he still has access to it. What he lacks is the ability to use the currency and manipulate it as effectively as a person with good vision. This is certainly unfortunate; as I mention above, it may be a good idea to change the currency for that reason. But I'm not sure that this means that the visually impaired person lacks "meaningful access" to the currency.

  Have I missed the legal boat? Am I placing too much emphasis on the distinction between "access" and "use," or on the definition of the government's "benefit"? I look forward to your comments.
John Armstrong (mail):
Judge Robertson's mention of elevator buttons seems to be directly analogous. Blind people have never been denied access to elevators, but without braille labels they are unable to use them reliably without confirmation from a sighted assistant. Analogously, they have never been disallowed from using currency, but if they can't tell one bill from another without assistance it becomes far less reliable.

What I don't know is whether braille labels in elevators are mandated by the Rehabilitation Act. If so, that seems to me to imply that currency should follow suit.
11.29.2006 12:48am
SP:
I was under the impression that the reason one corner of the back of the bill has such larger numbers was to help the visually impaired. Of course, if you also lack hands, it is difficult to read Braille, meaning the only remedy is to have money that talks to you and tells you what it is.
11.29.2006 12:49am
OrinKerr:
Good point, John. I would guess that the braille in elevators isn't part of a government benefit, and is thus not required by this Act. But interesting question.
11.29.2006 12:51am
Randy R. (mail):
One would think that paper currency could have braille on it without too much trouble. It might even make counterfeiting more difficult!
11.29.2006 12:57am
Truth Seeker:
I would think it would be easy to change braille on currency and cheat blind people (smash out the old braille and press in new higher denomination).
But my question is who appointed Judge Robertson? If it was Clinton or Carter, then his opinion must be wrong.
11.29.2006 1:01am
Brian Garst (www):
Activist. Judge.
11.29.2006 1:04am
Geof Abruzzi:
In the feasibility department, most european currency I have used accommodates the visually impaired by making each bill a different size. US Coins already have this benefit. The only coins close in size penny-dime and quarter-dollar differentiate using ridges on the edge.
11.29.2006 1:08am
anonVCfan:
I read the opinion. I'm not convinced, but I'm not exactly unconvinced either. It seems to me that neither "meaningful access" nor "denied the benefit" are very helpful analytically, and as I read Judge Robertson's and Prof. Kerr's summaries of the precedents out there, they don't seem very helpful in explaining how much access is "meaningful" or what it means precisely to be "denied the benefit" of something. I think this illustrates the difficulties that arise when Congress formulates a mushy standard and drops the task of sorting out the mush in the lap of the courts.

That said, Judge Robertson makes a decent argument to the effect that, where all bills are the same size and the same color and denominations and cannot be distinguished from one another except by sight, then that denies blind people and visually impaired people "meaningful access" to the benefits of currency. As Professor Kerr notes, the visually impaired people still have "access" to the currency, but I think it's an open question whether their access is "meaningful," and I don't fault Judge Robertson for coming down on the side that he did. The government's argument is essentially that blind and visually-impaired people have established coping mechanisms such that they have not been "denied the benefit" of currency. I think Judge Robertson was reasonable in disagreeing.

I'm also glad that he stepped away from the precipice at the end of the opinion and declined to dictate a remedy to the government without further proceedings. One of the things that the plaintiffs wanted was a permanent injunction against the Treasury preventing it from printing any more bills in the current format.
11.29.2006 1:29am
Christopher M (mail):
Activist. Judge.

Good God man, when will this stuff stop? Congress passed a law that requires the federal government to go out of its way to make sure disabled people have access to all federal benefits. The Supreme Court interpreted that law to require "meaningful" access. This judge applied that law, as he was required to do. You can disagree with his decision by drawing a distinction, as Prof. Kerr does, between "meaningful access" and "actual ability to use," but it's not like the judge just made up the law here. How on God's sweet earth is this an activist decision, unless your definition of "activist" includes any reasonable attempt to enforce the laws that Congress passed?
11.29.2006 1:36am
Christopher M (mail):
Prof. Kerr writes (of the case requiring sign language interpreters): Access is effectively denied: The benefit is the class's communication of ideas, and a hearing-impaired student doesn't get that at all without an interpreter.

I don't quite understand how that's not true in this case. The principal "benefit" of money isn't the ability to hold it in your hand or stuff it under your mattress; it's the ability to use it in commerce, right? If blind people can't do that, don't they lack access to the benefit of the government program?

I would think that, on Prof. Kerr's analysis, the Eleventh Circuit should have held that deaf people have "access" to classes: they can sit in class, and the sound waves from the lecturer's speech hit their ears just like they hit the ears of a hearing person. They just can't make "use" of that access, because they can't hear that speech or learn anything from it.

I too am "totally and completely new to this area," though.
11.29.2006 1:43am
Kate1999 (mail):
Christoper M,

You might want to tone down the rhetoric here, as I think Brian Garst has at least a possible case here. I assume Brian's concern is that Judge Robertson clearly indicates that he likes the result he reaches as a matter of policy -- "we have evolved," he writes, with the law just making the evolution "official" -- and yet the result, which would require a dramatic reworking of practice at a major government agency based on a 33 year-old law that has never been interpreted this way, seems like a stretch.
11.29.2006 1:51am
DG:
I think Orin's analysis is slightly off the mark. Two points:

1) I would assume that the "program" in question is the provision of currency. The primary "benefit[] of" that program is the ability make use of a common medium of exchange, or something along those lines. So the access that Orin focuses on is "meaningful access to the benefit" -- that is, use or ability to exchange -- not meaningful access to the physical currency.

Judge Robertson is admittedly a bit confusing on this point. He repeatedly refers to "access to currency," but then seems to be referring to something other than the physical money (as when he corrects the plaintiffs' argument that they have "no access to currency" by pointing out that they can make use of money in various ways).

2) If you accept that interpretation of the statute, then Orin answers his own question when he says, "What [the blind person] lacks is the ability to use the currency and manipulate it as effectively as a person with good vision" (emphasis added). The government's failure to accomodate this inability to use (i.e., access the benefits of) currency is precisely the problem.
11.29.2006 1:58am
Christopher M (mail):
Kate:

I didn't mean to ratchet up the rhetoric; I thought Brian Garst was doing that by throwing inflammatory terms like "activist judge" into an academic discussion of the merits of a legal decision.

I'm also not quite sure what is supposed to be wrong with a judge summarizing the evolution in society's attitudes that led Congress to pass a certain law. Is it controversial that the purpose of the Rehabilitation Act was to provide disabled people greater integration into society through access to federal programs?

Or is the problem that the judge indicated his approval of that law? If so, would you object to an opinion in which a judge suggested, say, that the Constitution was generally a wise document? Or, for example, Judge Kozinski's dissent in Silveira (pdf), where he argued that "the Framers were wise enough to entrench the right of the people to keep and bear arms within our constitutional structure"? I don't see any difference. Sometimes judges like the laws and sometimes they don't, but surely a judge who reaches a reasonable -- though disputable -- conclusion on a legal question can't be called "activist" just because he happens to agree with the laws that Congress has passed.
11.29.2006 2:07am
DG:
One more point. Orin says:

[Blind people] can obtain currency like anyone else, and they can spend it like anyone else. Rather, their use of the currency that is provided under a federal program is more difficult for them than for people with sight.

I think that's Judge Robertson's point. That's why he makes a big deal out of the difference between "no access" and "no meaningful access." He acknowledges that blind people have found ways to use money, but suggests that the prohibitive cost (ugh) of doing so prevents them from meaningfully engaging in commerce/exchange/etc.
11.29.2006 2:16am
Kate1999 (mail):
Christopher M,

None of these things are wrong *per se*. No one is suggesting that. I think the point is that these are all possible red flags.

Let's reverse the politics and take a look at Bush v. Gore. In that case, five Justices who we guess voted Republican used a rarely invoked constitutional provision to help call an election for a Republican, in a way that seemed surprising based on past practice. I think it's pretty plausible to look at the likely preferences of the justices, see the court taking a role for itself in an area you wouldn't have expected, and think to yourself that Bush v. Gore is in all likelihood an example of judicial activism.
11.29.2006 2:20am
Roger Schlafly (www):
but it's not like the judge just made up the law here. How on God's sweet earth is this an activist decision
Sure, the judge just make up the law. Congress knew that our paper money is green. Blind people have complained about the color of money before. Apparently a lot of people like green money. It is not for one activist judge to decide the color of our money.
11.29.2006 3:14am
Harland Hirst (mail):
As a young'un in the 70's while traveling in Europe, some currencies already used were varied in sizes. I remember a few years later in classroom instruction on the reasons for different sizes was blindness. Pure speculation on my part is that post war visual impairment was common to a degree that the solution was necessary. This idea is not particularly new or novel.

I am one of the early adopters of 'Oh, heck the law does not say that', and it doesn't follow that this law can be reasonably interpreted to direct the Treasury to change the currency. But, this does not mean that the desire to enhance our commerce is without merit. This situation doesn't require a hero, and it should have been resolved years ago.

The concern is about the texture of the paper, or more rightly cloth. Ours is a proprietary cloth that excludes the changing of texture as a solution. Raised bumps might pose a restriction to the processing machines, and yes the Mint is a factory just like any other. That leaves size/shape as denominators.

In my opinion the political economy suggests working towards a solution rather than appealing the Judge’s opinion. Change the bills size and changing the font of the denomination to discourage would be petty crooks. What if a twenty had "20" printed so large that it took the whole not, that should keep some theives at bay.
11.29.2006 3:35am
Lev:
Dunno. The decision wouldn't load. If Robertson actually did say this:


We have evolved, however, and Congress has made our evolution official, by enacting the Rehabilitation Act, whose stated purpose is "to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society." 29 U.S.C. § 701(b)(emphasis added).


How does he reconcile that little excerpt with:

701(b)


(b) Purpose
The purposes of this chapter are—
(1) to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society, through—
(A) statewide workforce investment systems implemented in accordance with title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.] that include, as integral components, comprehensive and coordinated state-of-the-art programs of vocational rehabilitation;
(B) independent living centers and services;
(C) research;
(D) training;
(E) demonstration projects; and
(F) the guarantee of equal opportunity;



None of that, it seems to me, relates to the state of the currency. It does relate to vocational rehabilitation training.

The definition here:


No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title,


reads thusly

Definition


(20) Individual with a disability
(A) In general
Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (B), the term “individual with a disability” means any individual who—
(i) has a physical or mental impairment which for such individual constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; and
(ii) can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services provided pursuant to subchapter I, III, or VI of this chapter.


which also relates to vocational rehabilitation and training, and not to the state of the currency.

Was he just making stuff up, with his umbras and penumbras evolving with a living Constitution?
11.29.2006 3:45am
meep (mail) (www):
Let's get back to practicality -- it seems that vending machines have no trouble telling apart different denominations of bills (and they don't have eyes! How can that be!), so rather than retooling the currency yet again, how about give every blind person one of these.

It's not even "thinking outside the box" given that someone has already solved the problem. For those who are merely vision-impaired, might I recommend the cheaper standby of a magnifying glass. Or perhaps start using a debit card in lieu of cash for most transactions.
11.29.2006 5:54am
Pennoyer:
It's odd that this wasn't fixed during the redesign of the currency over the past few years. Many other countries use bills of different sizes for different denominations - it shouldn't be that hard to fix this problem.
11.29.2006 7:17am
L P (mail):
One other reason to consider changing the size of currency is that our one-size-fits-all bills allow for a particular kind of counterfeiting -- bleaching bills and printing them with a new denomination -- that would be rendered impossible were bills to vary in size.

[No legal expertise here].
11.29.2006 7:45am
Bryan C (mail):
I'll point out that changing the size of bills is hardly a trivial thing. There's an entire cash infrastructure built around that particular size, and around the fact that all US bills are identical in size. It would be mighty expensive for a lot of people if their ATM machines, cash registers, bill acceptors, etc. all had to be replaced. I think we can find a better way.
11.29.2006 8:05am
Chumund:
This strikes me as a framing issue. One could define the benefit broadly as the ability to possess and exchange federal currency. But one could also define it more narrowly, say as the ability to use paper money to possess and exchange federal currency. And it seems to me the question of meaningful access will depend on this definition, with it becoming increasingly less plausible that the blind have meaningful access to the narrow benefit (e.g., specifically the use of paper money).

Lev,

I think if you read specifically 701(b)(1)(f) ("the guarantee of equal opportunity") in conjunction with the findings in 701(a), the idea that the Rehabiliation Act was intended to have broad remedial effects is not unwarranted. For example, consider the findings in 701(a)(5) and (6):

"(5) individuals with disabilities continually encounter various forms of discrimination in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting, and public services; and

(6) the goals of the Nation properly include the goal of providing individuals with disabilities with the tools necessary to—
(A) make informed choices and decisions; and
(B) achieve equality of opportunity, full inclusion and integration in society, employment, independent living, and economic and social self-sufficiency, for such individuals."

In any event, the lower court was bound to apply the controlling Supreme Court precedents defining the scope and application of the Rehabilitation Act, such as Alexander v. Choate.
11.29.2006 8:17am
JRL:
Likewise, we should have to put a rail down in the middle of every lane in the freeway system (like at amusement parks) so that the blind can have access to the freeways.
11.29.2006 8:24am
DJR:
I think that I am often able to see the merits of a creative interpretation of the law, but this is beyond the pale. A blind person making most purchases could use a debit card like the rest of us do, but then there is the problem that the cashier might ring up more than was actually purchased. Not only that, most price tags are not written in braille, so the cashier could simply lie about how much each item costs. In fact, in grocery stores, most items come in boxes that have no meaningful size or texture variation, so a blind person is also denied meaninful access to dried and boxed food. Even if he is somehow able to purchase the food, it likely does not have braille or talking directions, so there is no way he can enjoy stove top stuffing instead of potatoes.

Blindness is a disability. It makes a number of tasks harder, one of which is shopping.
11.29.2006 8:26am
Strom Thurmond (mail):
Whats with the Braile labels at the Drive-through Teller?
11.29.2006 8:36am
Positroll (mail):
For anyone interested in the identification features used for the Euro see
http://www.euroblind.org/fichiersGB/trainers3.htm#17notes

"On each note, the denomination is boldly printed at the top right. The large numerals use intaglio printing, which can be perceived by touch." Shouldn't be too costly to implement ...
11.29.2006 9:10am
Lou Wainwright (mail):
Let's also note that the Act specifically calls out the Postal Service, and stamps are even worse than cash. They are in arbitrary size so no simple fix is available there, if you 'overpay' with too large a stamp the money is wasted, if you underpay your letter will be returned to you with a rubber stamp explanation that you won't be able to read. Clearly the judge should have also directed the USPS to start, within 30 days, using embossing or braille on stamps to prevent this outrage in our evolved society.
11.29.2006 9:31am
Bpbatista (mail):
As a threshold matter, is printing and issuing currency a "program or activity" intended to be covered by the act? It certainly isn't a "program." An "activity"? Perhaps, but I think that is stretching the intent of the statute beyond the breaking point.

In any event, how can anyone claim with a straight face that blind people do not have "meaningful access" to the currency? Have blind people been starving in the streets for the last 200+ years because they can't read the currency? Of course not. They can and are using the currency just like everyone else.
11.29.2006 9:31am
RichardP:
Lou Wainwright,

With regards to stamps and the blind, rather than attempt to create stamps that the blind can use (Braille-imprinted stamps have been largely unsuccessful), the USPS has instead adopted a special exemption by which the blind can send and receive mail for free.
11.29.2006 9:50am
Rich B. (mail):

A blind person making most purchases could use a debit card like the rest of us do, but then there is the problem that the cashier might ring up more than was actually purchased. Not only that, most price tags are not written in braille, so the cashier could simply lie about how much each item costs.


DJR -- your slippery slope doesn't work. Debit cards and price tags are not government programs. Printing money is.
11.29.2006 9:56am
Toby:
In parts of Europe, Japan, there are efforts to do away with change. Your phone can deliver change, accept change, use a PIN if the transaction requires it. You can pay a parming meter with your phone.

Phones can be either subscription, with access to bank accounts (required for transactions that are unusual or large) or simply stores of value in the pre-pay model - giving the anonymity of cash Many phones can speak aloud already - my phone pronounces each name in the directory as it runs through.

Go forward, not backward!
11.29.2006 9:59am
Houston Lawyer:
My personal favorite is Braille in parking garage elevators. Do ATMs and Debit Card machines talk so the blind can hear what they are doing? Shouldn't they?

While I believe that different size bills would benefit the blind, I don't believe that this law, which appears to be an equal opportunity type bill, mandates that. Fortunately, it requires at least 5 judges to make the law, not just one.
11.29.2006 10:08am
Hans Bader (mail):
Orin Kerr isn't placing too much emphasis on fine distinctions, as he fears.

The Rehabilitation Act and other disabilities-rights laws are full of fine distinctions (as well as mind-numbing, hair-splitting distinctions).

The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, where I used to work, spends more time and energy on disabilities discrimination cases than all other types of discrimination cases combined.

The law is very broad and vague, so the judge's ruling is plausible. But Orin's arguments are also plausible, and at the end of the day, the Justice Department's stronger arguments are more plausible than the judge's ruling.

As the judge concedes in his ruling, the case “involves a controlling issue of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion.”

This is the classic example of a ruling that is ripe for interlocutory review by the appeals court.
11.29.2006 10:09am
Hans Bader (mail):
When I said "Justice Department" above, I meant "Treasury Department."
11.29.2006 10:10am
JB:
RichardP: Really? I have some heavy packages to send, hook me up with a blind person.

Seriously--does this only apply to letters, or to packages of any size?
11.29.2006 10:15am
James R Dillon (mail):
Christopher M,

None of these things are wrong *per se*. No one is suggesting that. I think the point is that these are all possible red flags.


I think Christopher is absolutely right here, both in the substance and tone of his initial reply to Brian. If there was any doubt remaining that the phrase "activist judge" has come to mean "judge who writes an opinion that I don't like," it is eliminated by the application of that term (which I think is a generally useless one) in a context like this. I haven't read the opinion, but on the basis of Prof. Kerr's post and the comments above, it sounds as though there's at least a plausible argument to be made on either side of the issue. That being the case, I don't see how one can legitimately cry "activism" when the judge, looking at the purpose and policy evaluations underlying the statute in question, chooses to resolve a close question of interpretation against the government rather than against the individual. Perhaps an outcome in favor of the government would have been equally, or even somewhat more, plausible, but the idea that the judge abdicated his impartial role in issuing this opinion, as the term "activist" implies, is simply absurd.
11.29.2006 10:18am
Joe7 (mail):
FYI, the braile on drive-through ATM machines is to comply with the ADA. I've worked on such machines and when this question was raised, it was pointed out that in such situations a car can stop so the passenger in the back seat can access the machine. In the rare cases where that is not possible, it's still cheaper to purchase and use the same keypads as used in other machines.

(As an aside, one of the machines I worked was used by the transit authority of a major city. When we analyzed the cost of implementing the ADA support, we concluded it was cheaper just to give free access to the blind and those in wheelchairs. Apparently the city had already come to the same conclusion, but were told they couldn't since such people may want to purchase tickets for a non-disabled person. I still think the reasoning was nonsense, but that's the result of our wonderful over-legalistic society.)
11.29.2006 10:33am
Adam (mail) (www):
Have none of you people seen the movie Ray?
11.29.2006 10:36am
Chumund:
Lev,

I forgot to mention that you offered the wrong definition of "individual with a disability". The applicable section in this case, 794, is in Subchapter V of the Act. Accordingly, the applicable definition is in 705(20)(B), not 705(20)(A). 705(20)(B) states:

"(B) Certain programs; limitations on major life activities
Subject to subparagraphs (C), (D), (E), and (F), the term 'individual with a disability' means, for purposes of sections 701, 711, and 712 of this title, and subchapters II, IV, V, and VII of this chapter, any person who—
(i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities;
(ii) has a record of such an impairment; or
(iii) is regarded as having such an impairment."

Bpbatista,

Section 794(b) contains the following definition:

"(b) 'Program or activity' defined
For the purposes of this section, the term 'program or activity' means all of the operations of—
(1)
(A) a department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or of a local government . . . ."

So, the intent appears to be to give a very broad definition of "program or activity" such that it would include "all of the operations" of the Treasury.

One general note:

As others are already pointing out, one must carefully distinguish activities of the federal government (including actitivites funded by the federal goverment) from activities by private actors for purposes of Section 794. Specifically, 794(a) states:

"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 705 (20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service."
11.29.2006 10:38am
Mark Trapp (mail):
I haven't seen this mentioned, but it seems to me that an Article III judge does not have the authority to order any changes to the makeup of our money, that power has been granted specifically to Congress:

The Congress shall have power ... To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures; Const. Art. I, Sec 8.

The power to coin money is a specifically enumerated power of Congress. Thus, if Congress chooses to change the money, they can, but no one else can. That power resides solely and exclusively with the legislative branch.
11.29.2006 10:55am
Chumund:
Mark,

I'm not sure I follow. In this case, the Article III court is actually enforcing a law of Congress, the Rehabilitation Act. And as a regular matter, Article III courts apply numerous federal laws to agencies which are carrying out tasks authorized by Congress pursuant to its Article I powers.

So, it seems to me the answer to your puzzle is simply that obviously the powers of Congress can overlap, and a law passed pursuant to one power may have implications for activities authorized pursuant to another power. But there is nothing surprising about that.
11.29.2006 11:51am
Brian G (mail) (www):
Is there anything left for judges to usurp control over? This is just another example of judges sticking their noses into areas where they don't belong.
11.29.2006 12:06pm
markm (mail):
Has anyone done a study to test how well the blind can distinguish the variations in currency sizes in many foreign currencies? I don't know about European currencies, but the varied-size bills I encountered in Malaysia didn't vary that much. I find it hard to believe that anyone can reliably tell by touch whether a bill is 6" x 2-3/4", or (say) 5-1/2" x 3", let alone distinguish a half-dozen or more denominations.

A change to varied bill sizes would incur an immense cost, both at the Mint where much of the production equipment would have to be replaced or upgraded, and to vending machine companies and banks that have tens of thousands of machines designed to read, count, and sort bills of just one size. Before you mandate that, you should know that it will actually accomplish the alleged purpose.

Braille or embossed numerals might be more readily distinguished by feel, but I have two questions: Will raised surfaces like this get crushed down in everyday use so they are no longer readable (e.g., I sit on my money about 11 hours a day), and would they also require re-tooling paper-money machinery so the extra thickness didn't bind up something? Fifty feet from my desk, a production line is cranking out devices that detect a thickness difference of just .004" so as tell if two bills stuck together in an ATM. What would an embossed stamp do to that?

OTOH, blind people could just carry around a portable version of the bill-reader in vending machines. It should cost less than $200 to manufacture, plus whatever markups are needed to get it into the hands of the blind - and if the government doesn't want to pick up the tab for those that can't afford it, private charities should have no trouble collecting donations for this cause. It's a lot cheaper solution than re-tooling the entire paper money industry.
11.29.2006 12:10pm
Guest3000:
According to the section of the USPS Domestic Mail Manual having to do with Free Matter for the Blind: "Only letters in braille or in 14-point or larger sightsaving type or in the form of sound recordings, and containing no advertising, may be mailed free, and only if unsealed and sent by a blind or other physically handicapped person as described in 5.1.3. "
11.29.2006 12:12pm
carlosrrivera (mail):
Pardon my ignorance, but I wondered about the long-term impact here:

If a very elastic interpretation of "disability" gets applied, might not a judge have the power to order currency to be printed in multiple languages? Or, couldn't a judge order that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, et al, not be on the currency because they were a slave holders and it might therefore "handicap" a black person's use of it?

Since Article 1 provides for the creation of currency and designates it a power given to Congress, would this ruling step on their toes? Since Congress is at times protective of their powers, vis-a-vis, the executive, is this a precedent for the Judicial branch and how they might see Article 1?

Finally, does a law interpret, modify, or override the Constitution?

Cheers and many thanks for your patience

CRR

CRR
11.29.2006 12:13pm
Chumund:
markm,

Just for your reference, the opinion cites various materials relating both to the effectiveness of various measures and the attendant costs of implementing them.

carlos,

I don't think your hypotheticals (speaking a different language, or being black) would count as disabilities within the definitions of the Act, whereas serious vision impairment or blindness certainly does. So, while one could hypothesize all sorts of ridiculous things happening if a judge ignored the definitions in the Act, I don't think this particular case provides evidence of that happening.

As for "stepping on the toes" of Congress: again, the court is simply enforcing the Rehabilitation Act, which is a law passed by Congress. So, as I noted above, this is really just one area of congressional power intersecting with another, which is not unusual.
11.29.2006 12:24pm
Nikki:
Houston Lawyer: in my part of the world (Pittsburgh, PA, US) you can plug your headphones into ATMs that have jacks for them to hear audio. There's Braille that explains this. (Or so I assume ... I can't actually read Braille.)
11.29.2006 12:43pm
DaveN (mail):
Excuse me if I am wrong, but I always assumed that one rule of statutory construction was that Congress is presumed to be aware of current law at the time it passes a new law. That said, Congress not only had laws in place defining United States currency at the time it passed the Rehabilitation Act, it has also subsequently amended the currency statute (the faces on currency are now bigger).

Since another rule of statutory construction is that the more specific governs over the more general, Congress both knew about currency statute when it passed the rehabilitation act and knew about the rehabilitation act when it has amended the currency act. Either way, it seems this judge has read too much into the rehabilitation act.
11.29.2006 12:45pm
JRL:

Has anyone done a study to test how well the blind can distinguish the variations in currency sizes in many foreign currencies?


Well, if this makes it to the Supremes, you can count on Breyer to conduct such a study.
11.29.2006 12:46pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
I'm with meep here. The blind are not denied meaningful access as there are technological measures that would allow them (relatively) effective use of the currency. If they don't already have such devices it would be pretty easy to make a handheld bill scanner that reads out the denomination.

Rivera,

It doesn't step on congress's authority at all. After all they are the ones who passed this bill. If they don't like the result they can just repeal it.
11.29.2006 12:49pm
Chumund:
For those interested, scanners are also discussed in the opinion.
11.29.2006 1:21pm
Kristian (mail):
Has anyone thought of the COST of this decisision? ATMs, Vending Machines, change machines, my God, it boggles the mind...
11.29.2006 1:45pm
Mark Trapp (mail):
Chumund-

I haven't done the research, but my point is simply that Congress (and only Congress) can determine how to print the money we use. This opinion seems to step on Congress' enumerated power to do this, by presuming to tell the Treasury Dept to make the money in a way the judge thinks required by the Rehabilitation Act. In my opinion, the judge is free to think this, but powerless to compel it. I don't think Congress intended to abdicate its sole authority to coin money by passing the Rehab Act. (I assume the Rehab Act says nothing about coining money.) And unless there were some clear showing of an intent to allow an Article III judge to exercise this Article I power, surely a court cannot presume it. I suppose if Congress chose to make the currency comply with the judge's ruling they can, but they do not have to. But again, unless there is a clear showing that Congress intended by passing the Rehab Act to lessen its Constitutional prerogative to coin money, it should not be lightly assumed.
11.29.2006 2:02pm
Chumund:
Mark,

As an aside, the judge specifically declined to decide on a specific remedy sua sponte, so you are misrepresenting the opinion.

Anyway, why do you think Congress has to specifically mention printing money in the Rehabilitation Act in order for the Rehabilitation Act to apply to printing money? Why isn't it enough to do what they did, namely specify it applies to any operations of any federal agency?

By the way, note that your rule would place an extraordinary burden on Congress: every time they wanted to pass a general rule applying to multiple agencies carrying out multiple tasks pursuant to multiple enumerated powers, they would have to specifically mention each of those agencies, tasks, and powers. That would be an awful lot of work for very little purpose.

Anyway, that is not the law in this country. Congress can authorize agencies to carry out its enumerated powers. It can also pass laws of general applicability which will apply to those agencies as they carry out those tasks. And the courts can enforce those laws.

And that doesn't "step on" Congress's exercise of its powers, because it is Congress's own law governing all the many tasks carried our pursuant to those powers. And it doesn't give the courts any unusual or undue powers, because it is the job of courts to apply laws and fashion appropriate remedies for violations of laws.
11.29.2006 2:53pm
Mark Trapp (mail):
Look, all I'm saying is that according to the Constitution Congress controls in the coining of money. Thus, unless Congress directly tells the Treasury Department to make the money in different sizes (or anything else), or unless Congress has authorized this judge to exercise this power, I don't think it's valid, or at least there is an argument that it isn't. I have not read the Rehab Act, but I doubt it contemplates allowing a judge to tell the Treasury Department the manner in which our money should be made. It just seems like a pretty big presumption on the part of the judge given the possible significant costs involved. That's all. Surely, given the costs involved in redefining our currency, Congress would have specifically mentioned giving this power to a judge?

Isn't it possible (in fact, doesn't it make more sense) that Congress intended for the Treasury to continue to print the money according the the specific directions it receives from Congress, even though Congress passed the Rehab Act? If that is possible or likely, as I think it is, it seems a stretch to me for a judge to assume otherwise, or that he has power to exercise a right clearly granted to Congress by the Constitution.

And I'm not misrepresenting the opinion, I haven't even read the whole thing. I'm just making a few comments based on my thoughts after reading the post.
11.29.2006 3:45pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Minor quibble. It isn't the Mint nor the Treasury here, but the Federal Reserve. Look at the top of your currency, and it says "Federal Reserve Note". I can remember when we still had money from the Treasury, but it has been a long time.

This shouldn't impact the debate though, as the Federal Reserve is effectively an agency of the Federal Government.
11.29.2006 3:48pm
Chumund:
Mark,

As an aside, I think it is important to read at least the applicable provision in the Rehabilitation Act, which is linked in the original blog post (Section 794). Since you are also talking about the judge's remedy, it would probably also be a good idea to read at least the end of the opinion. I think doing so might help you answer some of your own objections.

Anyway, I guess I still don't see why Congress can't "indirectly" govern the printing of money by passing a law that applies to all activities of every federal agency. Again, why does Congress have to specifically mention printing money if it instead passes a more sweeping law?

Maybe we are just talking past each other, but this is a frequent frustration of mine. Some people don't seem to understand that Congress writes a lot of general laws, and lets the courts deal with applying those laws to specific cases. So, these people see a judge having to make a lot of decisions in order to fashion a remedy in a particular case, and they think something improper is going on, when in fact the judge is just doing what the law passed by Congress requires.
11.29.2006 4:07pm
Scott from L-Cubed (mail) (www):
Here's an interesting response from the National Federation of the Blind, which takes the complete opposite view of the plaintiffs (and Judge Robertson), arguing that the ruling will ultimately harm blind people by perpetuating the stereotype that they can't function independently and costing them employment opportunities, among other things. This certainly casts a different light on the stated "purpose" of 701(b).
11.29.2006 4:16pm
Adam (mail) (www):
Mark Trapp: You're raising an incredibly silly argument. Let me replace some words for you:
Look, all I'm saying is that according to the Constitution Congress controls in the establishment of a uniform rule of naturalization. Thus, unless Congress directly tells the INS to change the rules for immigration (or anything else), or unless Congress has authorized this judge to exercise this power, I don't think it's valid for any court to challenge any aspect of the constitutionality of our immigration law, or at least there is an argument that it isn't.

Your argument would overturn Marbury; therefore, it is wrong.
11.29.2006 4:18pm
Scott from L-Cubed (mail) (www):
Bruce, it's actually the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which is controlled by Treasury. They design and produce the bills, the Federal Reserve just distributes them.

And no, the Fed is not an agency.
11.29.2006 4:18pm
Chumund:
Scott,

Wow, that inspired me to do some quick research, and it turns out there is an ongoing (and apparently sometimes bitter) dispute between the National Federation for the Blind and the American Council for the Blind.
11.29.2006 4:23pm
lralston (mail):
How helpful/accurate is this discussion of the issue?
I have no idea how to even start to follow the directions on how write a URL so I have divided the web address: http://stubbornfacts.us/domestic_policy/
jurisprudence/the_money_case
11.29.2006 5:35pm
KeithK (mail):

By the way, note that your rule would place an extraordinary burden on Congress: every time they wanted to pass a general rule applying to multiple agencies carrying out multiple tasks pursuant to multiple enumerated powers, they would have to specifically mention each of those agencies, tasks, and powers. That would be an awful lot of work for very little purpose.

Sounds like a wonderful outcome to me! I'm all for an end to general laws that tend to be vague and are ripe for extreme interpretations by the judicial branch. Legislatures should be specific whenever possible so that judges can apply the law, not create it.

Besides, anything that keeps Congress busy is a good thing in and of itself.
11.29.2006 8:43pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Ok, Bureau of Engraving creates the bills, but the Fed, which is not an actual agency, distributes them. Would that make any difference here. And, would it make a difference if the Fed were actually printing the money, instead of just distributing it? What is the actual relationship here? Does the Bureau of Engraving say to the Fed (presumably as a result of Congressional directive), "here is your new currency"? Or does the Fed determine this? I went through the Bureau of Engraving's site (kinda cute: moneyfactory.gov) and couldn't really tell.

I suggested that the Fed was essentially an agency because while not expressly so, it is still somewhat part of the government. My question was more on the lines of whether it was close enough to being part of the government for this to be applicable there.

BTW, here are some of the answers to the Bureau of Engraving's FAQ about their new currency. Note in particular the first one, given this debate:

Why aren't the sizes of the note and portrait subject being changed?

Changing the size or figures would not improve security, but it would contribute to potential confusion for the millions of people around the world who recognize the traditional overall appearance of U.S. notes, including the portraits that are linked to specific denominations.

Why add color to U.S. currency?

Color makes it more burdensome for potential currency counterfeiters because it adds complexity to the notes.

While consumers should not use color to verify the authenticity of their money, it does have a practical advantage, particularly for individuals with low vision, because different colors will make it easier to tell denominations apart.
11.29.2006 8:53pm
Sam (mail):
I have posted some thoughts about this here.
11.29.2006 11:52pm
SimonD (www):
Part of the difficulty is that the Judge's opinion never actually engages with the controlling statute that it purports to be acting on authority of. The judge's analysis section, instead of beginning with the statute, begins with what it deems to be prevailing precedent, which in any event, it then proceeds to misapply. The opinion fails to acknowledge that the language it quotes from the "purpose" section is not native to the Disability Act 1973; the original purpose section was stripped from the statute, and the new text (which, as Lev notes above, is in any event considerably more confined than the judge acknowledges) inserted in its stead, by Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, 112 Stat. 1095. Nor does the judge explain why he believes that citing examples where Congress considered and rejected laws to implement differently-sized currency in the years after the Rehabilitation Act, far from bolstering his case, does not undercut it: clearly, neither Congress nor the department of the treasury believed that the Rehabilitation Act imposed a specification on the currency.

All in all, shambolic. If you look up the original text of the Rehabilitation act, reprinted in 1973 USCAAN, and you read Title V Section 4 (the text which became §794) in its proper statutory context, I submit that it is readily apparent that the scope of that law makes this ruling untenable. This shouldn't even have been a close case. I have some tentative thoughts on the matter here.
11.30.2006 11:21am
Kathypodgers (mail) (www):
Just some thoughts...

{{The crux of Judge Robertson's opinion is that designing currency without special accomodations to the visually impaired denies them "meaningful acceess" to the benefit of currency:}}

The correct term should be "reasonable acomodation" not "special." A reasonable accomodation does not have to be "perfect."

Another key term, that is essential in understanding this issue is "qualified individual with a disability." The "qualified" means, (in my opinion) that were the paper money to be printed in different sizes matched consistently with denomination, then the (protected from discrimination) individual would not be "handicapped" ( a verb) when trying to "use" the "benifit" that others use without being handicapped. ( handicapped is a verb) ie, most blind are able to use money printed in different sizes, because they do have arms, and are able to touch the money.

Adding brail would not be a perfect solution because most folks who lose their site as adulds cannot read brail.

The concept is "reddy access", ie, no adult would like it if they had to ask for "permission" to go to the "bathroom," so persons with disabilities also want to be independent of being required to ask for assistance from others. The goal is to identify "barriers" to access in order to remove them. Then PWD's can go about thier lives in the same way as others do.

Here is a hypothetical...A pre teen who lives in the community and passes the required swim test is informed she cannot cvome to the municipal pool to swim due to her having a partially paralized left foot due to childhood polio. She is a "qualified" individual with a disibility because she passed all the requirements the municipal pool set, ie lives in the community and passed her swim test. Therefore she cannot be excluded based on her "disibility." OK, now, identify the barrier, and how the barrier should be removed.

hint...the barrier is not her disability. The barrier to her being allowed to participate is .....

Final thoughts, thanks for everyone taking a look at this issue, I "see" that few in my disability blog roll have commented yet. I wonder if they are waiting for the "official" view from established disability advocates.
11.30.2006 1:04pm
Mark Trapp (mail):
Chumund-

Just took a minute to look this up, and it seems that Congress has delegated its enumerated power to coin money to the Secretary of the Treasury. See 31 USC 5112 (Denominations, specifications, and design of coins) and 31 USC 5115 (United States currency notes).

This last section specifically states that:

"The notes ... shall be in a form and in denominations of at least one dollar that the Secretary prescribes."

31 USC 5115(a)(2).

Thus, I think Congress has specifically granted the power to choose the form of our currency to the Secretary, and an Article III judge cannot change it, or order the Secretary to "prescribe" a different form, based on the judge's interpretation of a statute (the Rehab Act) that does not deal with the coining or printing of money (the specific taking precedence over the general).
12.1.2006 10:29am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Good point, John. I would guess that the braille in elevators isn't part of a government benefit, and is thus not required by this Act. But interesting question."

It is my belief signage is covered by the Rehab Act and is part of the government benefit. Signage is covered under Title II of the ADA in the regs. The two Acts are supposedly interpreted interchangably (I say supposedly, because after extensively studying this ares for the past 16 1/2 years, there are some nuances between the two Acts that make them not identical).

Another thing to consider, is at least under Title II of the ADA, "programs, services, and activities" are covered, and one 2nd Circuit case even says anything a governmental entity does is covered. This is one of the nuances. The Rehab Act says "benefits" instead, presumably because the Rehab Act is Spending Clause legislation and the waiver of soveereign immunity is tied to the benefits.

The ADA on the other hand, is at minimum enacted under the Commerce Clause and Fourteenth Amendment, but has interesting "including" terminology, indicating perhaps it was also enacted under other Art. I powers. The ADA is not Spending Clause legislation, but many people do not realize (especially budget cutting State governments), that the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 excluded both the ADA and Rehab Act from the UMRA restrictions, meaning the State have to raise and provide the money to fund the mandates of the ADA.

In my overview of the more than 20,000 ADA and Rehab Act cases I have read in 16 1/2 years, I have found that the "programs, services, and actvities" and "benefits" language is applied interchageably, as if all those terms are written into both statutes, but I always had to wonder if this was a correct reading of this nuance between the separate Acts.
12.1.2006 12:49pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"I read the opinion. I'm not convinced, but I'm not exactly unconvinced either. It seems to me that neither "meaningful access" nor "denied the benefit" are very helpful analytically, and as I read Judge Robertson's and Prof. Kerr's summaries of the precedents out there, they don't seem very helpful in explaining how much access is "meaningful" or what it means precisely to be "denied the benefit" of something. I think this illustrates the difficulties that arise when Congress formulates a mushy standard and drops the task of sorting out the mush in the lap of the courts."

First of all, I think if some of you who *don't get it* about meaningful access for the disabled would read through the entire opinion in Nidia v. Giuliani, 119 F.Supp.2d 181 (E.D.N.Y. 2000), it might cause an epiphany.

And, Orin, you did a disservice to understanding what meaningful access means by quoting only the one superficial statement in Choate. I can finish the quote for you: "To assure meaningful access," the Supreme Court explained, "reasonable accommodations in the grantee's program or benefit may have to be made." Choate, 469 U.S. at 301. By truncating off the half of the Supreme Court ruling about reasonable accomodations, you created your own misunderstanding. Reasonable accommodations are required to enable a disabled person meaningful access to use the entity's benefits.

This is not a small error. I have experience over and over, especially among members of the Bar, this anachronistic outdated notion derived from law school teaching of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and race/ethnic/gender discrimination, that discirmination or exclusion is only about disparate impact or disparate treatment. People with disabilities have unique problems not suffered by those other groups, and as a consequence, Congress found the old Civil Rights statutory model was not capable of addressing these unique problems suffered by the disabled. That's why both the Rehab Act and ADA contain a new and additional cause for discrimination or exclusion -- reasonable accomodations.

Reasonable accomodations are required to eliminate all the societal structural barriers all the *normal* people erected to shut out the disabled -- e.g., stairs and no ramps, telephones with no TTY, court access with no paperless electronic filing accessible to speech recognition. Nidia explains this concept: "An identical treatment approach in regard to disabilities gives "the form, but not the substance, of equal opportunity." 119 F.Supp.2d at 213 n.23. That is why a reasonable accommodations claim is analyzed differently than a disparate treatment or disparate impact claim. Id., at 213-214.

Second, if there is any "mush" to be sorted out, it is purely in the minds of all the lawyers who have not been required to demonstrate competency in the REhab Act and Title II of the ADA as part of their Con Law Bar Examination requirements to become licensed, and those who are members of the many Bars that doe not require mandatory CLEs and MCLEs in Rehab Act and Title II of the ADA. Place the blame for lack of understanding these important laws where it belongs. The disabled understand these laws perfectly.
12.1.2006 1:23pm
Mark Trapp (mail):
This is helpful:

"Reasonable accomodations are required to eliminate all the societal structural barriers all the *normal* people erected to shut out the disabled -- e.g., stairs and no ramps, telephones with no TTY, court access with no paperless electronic filing accessible to speech recognition."

Uh, yeah -- "normal" people invented stairs solely "to shut out the disabled." Same with phones. Sounds like someone needs to calm down a little bit...
12.1.2006 3:42pm
Mark Trapp (mail):
Sorry Mary Katherine, I shouldn't have sounded so harsh, given that it's simply a comment on a blog, not a law review article or something. Sorry.
12.1.2006 6:17pm
Boulder Law (mail) (www):
I echo the sentiments of those who take a different approach to the question.

The benefit is access to the U.S. monetary system, not the use of currency. Currency is simply one way of providing the benefit of money (I know some might say that fiat money is no benefit at all, but I digress). Numerous other methods, including credit and debit cards, electronic fund transfers, wireless payment, etc. make U.S. money available to the blind. If "meaningful access" to the monetary system must be provided by the govt. it need not redesign the currency to provide it. It could simply issue debit cards.

Of course, a case could be presented where a substitute for currency does not provide meaningful access, although it might be difficult to find one. Even a vending machine would be a poor example because the machine would differentiate between a $10 and a $1 without difficulty or added expense.
12.3.2006 12:28am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Prof. Kerr writes (of the case requiring sign language interpreters): Access is effectively denied: The benefit is the class's communication of ideas, and a hearing-impaired student doesn't get that at all without an interpreter.

I don't quite understand how that's not true in this case. The principal "benefit" of money isn't the ability to hold it in your hand or stuff it under your mattress; it's the ability to use it in commerce, right? If blind people can't do that, don't they lack access to the benefit of the government program?

I would think that, on Prof. Kerr's analysis, the Eleventh Circuit should have held that deaf people have "access" to classes: they can sit in class, and the sound waves from the lecturer's speech hit their ears just like they hit the ears of a hearing person. They just can't make "use" of that access, because they can't hear that speech or learn anything from it."

This pretty much sums up what is all wrong with Orin's analysis. What he misses is the fact that people with certain types of disabilities possess an inherent immutable impairment, which makes them unable to access sound waves (as opposed to via cochlear device), traditional paper money (as opposed to via braille or different sizes/textures), or keyboarded or read ink on paper (as opposed to via paperless electronic speech recognition device).
12.3.2006 10:21pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Numerous other methods, including credit and debit cards, electronic fund transfers, wireless payment, etc. make U.S. money available to the blind."

This suggestion is not an equally effective alternative, since in emergencies such Hurricane,floods, black outs, and other disasters, ATMs do not work. Further, most of these methods charge additional fees per transaction, and cost more than cash. Also, not every business is set up to accept this type of substitute, since some businesses such as the flea market, racetrack, shoe shine boy, barber, etc only take cash; thus, blind and vision impirmed people could be completely shut out of vital services under this suggestion. Moreover, why should the blind and low vision disbaled be excluded from the ability to flash cash to secure a bargain availabel to others, when sometimes cash speaks loudly enough to get a big discount.
12.3.2006 10:26pm