[nfbwatlk] FW: [blindlaw] "Second chance for disabled" article

Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR) Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV
Fri Jul 19 13:38:47 UTC 2013

Thought this is of general interest. I think we should get ready to let our senators know we want their vote. (again.)

-----Original Message-----
From: blindlaw [mailto:blindlaw-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ross Doerr
Sent: Friday, July 19, 2013 6:00 AM
To: 'Blind Law Mailing List'
Subject: [blindlaw] "Second chance for disabled" article

I read this N.Y. Times article online and felt that those on this list who are engaged in international law may like to read it. I read it with dismay, and I'm just a lowly Disability Rights Attorney here in the U.S. -

A Second Chance for the World's Disabled By THE EDITORIAL BOARD N.Y. Times To read the below article online, go to:

There was a painful moment on Capitol Hill in December when former Senator Bob Dole, seated in a wheelchair, was greeted warmly by old Republican colleagues but then rebuffed by some of those very same members after he had urged Senate ratification of a United Nations treaty defending the rights of people with disabilities. The treaty drew a 61-to-38 vote that fell five votes short of the needed two-thirds majority after skittish Republicans bought into a nonsensical attack by right-wing critics that it would undermine national sovereignty. 
Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is now negotiating with the ranking committee Republican, Bob Corker of Tennessee, to arrange another vote.
Should Mr. Corker agree, it is essential that Senate Democrats vote as one to approve the treaty and that Republicans rise above the hackneyed politicking that undermined the vote last year. With the social-issue pandering of the 2012 campaign behind us, the treaty can be seen for what it
is: a singular opportunity to apply the principles of the highly effective Americans With Disabilities Act to the world at large. 

Signed by President Obama in 2009, the treaty has been ratified by 132 countries. Contrary to critics, national sovereignty is in no way compromised in the treaty's declaration that all people, regardless of ability, deserve to live in dignity, safety and equality under the law. 

Nor would any recommendations approved by member nations be binding on the federal or state governments. The whole point of the treaty is to encourage other nations to match the standards set by the United States in the Americans With Disabilities Act, approved by a bipartisan majority in 1990 and signed by President George H.W. Bush. It would be ludicrous if the nation that has been in the forefront of upholding the rights of the disabled rejected a global treaty affirming those rights. 

Observation from Ross Doerr:
"Americans always try to do the right thing -- after they've tried everything else."
- - - Winston Churchill

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