To make a bad pun, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the following story:

“The Treasury Department on Wednesday began considering its response to a federal court ruling that ordered changes to paper currency so each denomination could be easily identified by blind and visually impaired people.

“The ruling by U.S. District Judge James Robertson came in a lawsuit filed against the department by the American Council of the Blind, a Washington-based advocacy group. The group argued that the government’s failure to differentiate among denominations amounted to illegal discrimination, and Robertson agreed.”

What??? We?ve got to change our money because some federal judge says so? Is it really unconstitutional for a country to print $5 bills that are the same size as $10 bills? And as it turns out, even many blind people found Robertson’s ruling ridiculous:

“‘We believe in solving real problems of discrimination – not in doing gimmicks that look like they solve a problem and could make things actually worse,’ James Gashel, executive director for strategic initiatives at the National Federation of the Blind, said Wednesday. ‘For a federal court to say that we are being discriminated against is simply wrong.'”

The best commentary on the decision comes from Captain Ed Morrissey, whose wife is blind:

“For my report, I decided to interview a blind person to discover her reaction to the news that Judge Robertson had freed her from the bonds of discrimination. The First Mate’s initial response is hard to quote, because I don’t know how to properly transcribe a snort and a peal of laughter.

“There are two major problems with this ruling. First, all due respect to the American Council for the Blind, we don’t really see that a problem with the currency exists. My wife has been blind for almost three decades, a good portion of that time as a single woman or a divorced mother, and for the majority of those periods used currency almost exclusively. The Braille Institute taught her some simple techniques in handling paper currency that allows her to this day to organize it properly….

“Even worse, the ruling simply abuses the position of the federal courts. It’s ludicrous on its face to believe that US currency represents a deliberate attempt to discriminate against blind people, who make up one percent of the population, according to the LA Times story. Even if one can argue that changing the bills in the manner Robertson demands would help blind people cope better with cash, that’s a policy question and not a Constitutional issue. That argument belongs in front of Congress, especially since the solution will cost hundreds of millions of dollars at the outset and cause confusion for years to come.”

Of course, I’d go even further and argue that Robertson’s real aim isn’t to help blind people but to force America to adhere to norms set by other countries, conforming to a sort of international law of currency sizing:

“‘Of the more than 180 countries that issue paper currency, only the United States prints bills that are identical in size and color in all their denominations,’ the judge wrote.”

See what I mean? Next, Robertson will rule that the United States’ refusal to adopt the metric system discriminates against immigrants who have trouble getting used to ounces, gallons, yards, and miles.