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Disability Ruling: A Brush With Injustice

January 14, 2002

Re "High Court Limits Who Is Disabled," Jan. 9: It is difficult to believe that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has any understanding of the word "hardship." For that matter, it's difficult to believe that any of the nine justices understand anything about hardship. Most of us ordinary people easily see how someone could have the ability to brush his or her teeth for a few minutes with one hand and yet not have the strength to stand on an assembly line for eight hours holding a five-pound wrench, tightening bolts all day with that same hand.

Perhaps our black-robed, compassionless conservatives might gain some greater understanding if we could require them all to simply brush their teeth for eight hours a day, five days a week, for a month or so. While not as difficult as actually working on an assembly line, the repetitive motion might help them understand how one might actually acquire carpal tunnel or repetitive stress syndrome.

A welcome ancillary benefit for all of us, in dramatic juxtaposition to those somber black robes, would be to see the nine justices return from their month of tooth-brushing beaming with newfound understanding of factory life and human hardship, sitting on their constitutional thrones displaying the whitest, purest, most-sympathetic smiles in Washington.

Mark Davidson

Costa Mesa

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