Until members realized that humoring him would bring down the wrath of every advocate for the disabled in America, the U.S. Senate on Monday briefly bowed to Sen. Robert Byrd's objection and barred a vision-impaired Senate aide from entering the Senate floor with her guide dog. How far removed some lawmakers are from the concerns of ordinary people!
Had a retail shopkeeper decided not to admit a blind person with a guide dog to his store, those federal officials charged with enforcing the Americans With Disabilities Act would have jumped on him with a vengeance. Congress, in fact, bound itself to obey that law and others it imposes on others two years ago.
Sen. Byrd objected then, saying that an unscrupulous president could use such a law to pressure Congress. It's hard to see how, unless members of Congress were doing something illegal, like sexually harassing their staff members or forcing aides to work under conditions that adversely affected their health.