The website uscourts.gov states: “DAVID S. TATEL has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1994. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1966. Following law school, Judge Tatel was an instructor at the University of Michigan Law School…. Since then, he served as founding Director of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Director of the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare…. Judge Tatel co-chairs the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Science, Technology and Law. He serves on the Board of the Federal Judicial Center and the Judicial Advisory Board of the American Society of International Law. Judge Tatel is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Education…he has chaired the boards of The Spencer Foundation and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Judge Tatel and his wife Edith have four children and eight grandchildren.”
Besides all that, Judge Tatel has run marathons and enjoyed skiing, and after many years of expert white cane use, recently got his first guide dog. FidelcoNews Judge Tatel began losing vision due to RP in 1966, after graduating law school. He was appointed to the DC court by President Clinton, filling the seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Richard Conway Casey, the first blind federal trial judge, served in the United States District Court in Manhattan. In the times piece memorializing him, Casey, whose blindness was also due to RP, is quoted as follows: “It doesn’t start out funny being blind,” he said. “You get mad. You get angry. You get depressed. But then you choose to either sit there and wait to die, or you get up and you move on. Once you make that decision, then you can find humor.” “Sometimes”, the New York Times noted, he found the humor in himself. When a law clerk walked him into a courtroom wall, he snapped, ‘You’re fired. Bring back my guide dog.’”
Courts in India should look to the West. In January, 2019, reported the Cane Foundation, the Supreme Court in India decided that persons with more than 50 percent vision loss could not be appointed to a judgeship. “…persons with more than the specified range of blindness are not eligible because they cannot perform functions of a judge…and upheld the decision of the Government and the Madras High Court, which felt that completely blind persons cannot perform the so called strenuous tasks of reading, writing, communicating, examining witnesses, following procedures, advising advocates, etc.”