I don’t know why conservatives aren’t still in an uproar about the Americans with Disabilities Act and its magical ability for the court to discover new disabilities and new ways that the world should be changed to accommodate smaller and smaller numbers of people. Case in point: Counters at Chipotle restaurants are too high for people in wheelchairs to see over, which is a civil rights affront akin to not letting disabled people worship, vote, or (in Finland) have a broadband computer connection.
On the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal appeals court said the law entitles wheelchair users at a restaurant to the same view as everyone else of the food that awaits them – in this case, burritos, tacos and the rest of the fare at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
The 45-inch-high wall between the customer line and the food preparation counter at two Chipotle restaurants in San Diego County, which blocked the view of patrons in wheelchairs, violated the 1990 federal law that requires equal treatment of the disabled, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Monday.
That’s going to apply to Subways, too, you know, and it might well apply to any restaurant like Zio’s here in Springfield, the Elephant Bar in St. Louis, or the Macaroni Grill chain that has a small wall dividing the kitchen from the dining area. As a result, of course, they will simply put in a full wall and stop preparing the food in the open. The disabled won’t get to see it anyway, nor will anyone else. This is the Harrison Bergeron world of the ADA.
Somehow, bad ideas passed into law become untouchable after a certain amount of time. A statute of limitations makes them unopposable, or some sort of legislative stare decisis sets in and you can’t cure a case of it with antibiotics. Sometimes, the trigger of veneration is just the president’s signature, depending upon the party of the President and the sweeping nature of the power grab.
People who oppose them or dare, dare to ask for some sort of proof that the ideas work or solve the problem, much less ask if those laws are a legitimate or moral function of government get labeled as wingnuts or extremists by right-thinking people in politics, government, and the press.
Republicans and conservatives running for office should not shy away from questioning these laws, whether the purposefully nebulous ADA, a ban on incandescent light bulbs, centralization of education into a Federal Department, or Obamacare. The press and the ruling class might well pillory conservative candidates for this stance–a rational, open mind–now, but a growing portion of the electorate is becoming amenable to considering it if candidates can provide reasoned arguments for dismantling the existing structure of the bloated government.
Too many people think the Republicans don’t want to do that, but you know what you call politicians and candidates who lay out reasoned paths, convince constituents of their values, and then carry them out? Leaders. Unironically and without quotation marks.