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Administration appeals order to redesign currency

December 13, 2006|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration asked an appeals court Tuesday to overturn a ruling that could require a redesign of the nation's currency to help the blind.

Justice Department lawyers filed the appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on behalf of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.

The appeal seeks to overturn a ruling last month by U.S. District Judge James Robertson, who ordered the Treasury Department to come up with ways for the blind to recognize the different denominations of paper currency.

Robertson had ruled in a lawsuit brought by the American Council of the Blind. The council proposed several options for changes, including printing bills in different sizes or changing the texture by adding embossed dots or foil.

Jeffrey Lovitky, an attorney for the council, said he planned to petition the appellate court to reject the appeal until Robertson made a decision on what remedies the government should pursue.

Christopher Gray, president of the council, said that although his group had been lobbying for changes to help the blind since 1995, the government had yet to conduct any feasibility studies of what those changes might cost. He noted that during that time, several design changes had been made to thwart counterfeiters.

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