Key Updates and Action Items: Supreme Court, Voting Rights, Computers and Public Benefits


October 23, 2020 | by Amber Smock

Key Updates and Action Items

Fri. Oct. 23: Supreme Court, Voting Rights, Computers and Public Benefits

Access Living friends and allies:

There’s a lot happening this week and we’d like to share the following key updates and action items.

Action Items:

U.S. Senate to Vote on Judge Barrett on Monday

Early this morning, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the nomination of Judge Amy Comey Barrett for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her nomination will now reportedly be voted upon by the full Senate on Monday. Disability advocates remain strongly in opposition to Judge Barrett’s nomination as her record demonstrates threats to disability rights per this letter. Along with our national colleagues, we urge disability advocates to contact your Senators BEFORE MONDAY to ask them to vote “no” on Judge Barrett’s nomination. Here is an action link from the Center for Public Representation.

Have You Voted Yet?

With less than two weeks before the national election, we hope that you have exercised or will be exercising your right to vote. How you vote is up to you, but please do exercise your right to vote! Many disability advocates have been working hard to develop resources for voters with disabilities. The American Association of People with Disabilities has compiled a great set of voter resources at this link. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network also has good advice at this link. In Illinois, Equip for Equality is running their voter helpline on November 3, available by phone or text. The office of Illinois Attorney General, Kwame Raoul, also created a voting guide for Illinois voters at this link. If you experience any issues with voting (like the folks in Alabama) reach out for help! Voting as early as possible is also helpful, to make sure your vote is counted.


Alabama Curbside Voting Crisis

Last night, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked curbside voting in Alabama. See this news story from NPR. The request for curbside voting was made by Alabamans with disabilities who are at high risk if infected with Covid-19, and who were concerned about Covid-19 contact in polling facilities. This is an example of where, yet again, the right to vote is threatened for people with disabilities, at a time when our vote matters more than ever. Keep an eye on the news for developments related to this Supreme Court decision.

When Computers Bump People From Benefits

Earlier this week, the Center for Democracy and Technology released. Groundbreaking report that looks at what happens when computers automatically bump people off of public benefits. The report team was led by longtime disability advocate and attorney Lydia X.Z. Brown. The report released with links to the full report plus a plain language version, can be found at this link.

Please feel free to share this email with fellow concerned disability advocates. Thank you for your advocacy.