Blind Michigan judge enters races and encourages others to do the same.

NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! Richard Bernstein, a justice on the Michigan State Supreme Court, has demonstrated that justice is genuinely blind.

He has now proven that blind drivers can operate race cars as well.
Bernstein, who has been legally blind since birth, said this week that Sheriff Chris Swanson, who was driving, gave him directions on Tuesday, August 23.


On that particular day, Bernstein navigated a muddy course at the Genesee County Fair outside of Flint, Michigan. He had never driven a car before.

The true challenge, according to 47-year-old Bernstein, is for those who are not impaired to give us a chance. “People with a disability know what we can accomplish,” he added.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein, who is blind, gets into a car to drive for the first time at the Genesee County fairgrounds in Mt. Morris, Mich., on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. Sheriff Chris Swanson, rear, rode in the passenger seat and gave instructions.

His motivational narrative is bringing attention to the work that people just like him do every day.

According to Shawn Dobbs, vice president of marketing and public relations of the Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. in New York City, “people who are blind power everything we do.”

This includes those who are “working in manufacturing,” producing items “for the federal government and the aerospace industry, working at one of our base supply centers or in contract management services, providing Braille literacy and technology training to program clients, along with working in management and leadership positions throughout our organization,” according to Dobbs.

He added, “The Lighthouse was established in 1918 and is the largest employment of blind persons west of the Mississippi and the greatest employer of deaf/blind individuals in the country.

Scientists are experimenting with ways to treat genetic blindness by restoring vision.

According to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6 million Americans are thought to have vision impairment, and 1 million become blind in 2017.

According to the American Community Survey, the majority of blind or visually impaired people do not work or actively seek employment, compared to less than a quarter of people without impairments.

Richard Bernstein served as Michigan Attorney General previously. He is today a Michigan Supreme Court justice.

According to Jeff Mittman, president and chief executive officer of Indiana-based Bosma Enterprises, “those who are blind have the potential to achieve anything their sighted contemporaries can do; they just do it differently.”

Mittman, a veteran with a disability, lost his vision in 2005 as a result of an IED attack in Iraq.
His business offers blind people work, training, and essential skills instruction that enable them to live freely.

Additionally, he oversees national efforts to combat the 70% unemployment rate for this population as the president of the National Association for the Employment of People Who Are Blind.

“Everyone’s ability to contribute and participate in society improves our community.”
Mittman continued, “I want to make sure that everyone has the knowledge and abilities to achieve whatever they desire.
He traveled more than 20 miles on foot along the Appalachian Trail with a fellow service member who functioned as a sighted guide.

He declared, “I have a responsibility to strengthen and optimize every possibility for those with eyesight loss.” “Everyone’s ability to contribute and participate in society improves our community.”

REACHING OUT OF HIS COMFORT ZONE In spite of his impairment, Bernstein, who is running for re-election to his job in Michigan in November, told Fox News Digital that he is enthusiastic about his profession and pushes himself beyond of his comfort zone.

He used the abilities to complete 25 marathons, one Ironman race, and to fulfill his dream of becoming a race car driver.

He made a joke about how many people only knew him as a justice “I never get called that. They now refer to me as a race car driver.”

When he was preparing for the marathons, he worked with a group called Achilles International, a nonprofit in New York City that uses sports and social interaction to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities of all ages, including children and veterans.

Achilles International’s president and CEO, Emily Glasser, stated that the organization “breaks down obstacles to performance and empowers athletes like Richard to reinvent what is possible.”

Due in part to his preparation for the marathons with Achilles International, Bernstein was able to follow the sheriff’s instructions regarding when to turn despite the fact that he was blind.

Achilles has enabled nearly 150,000 athletes of various skill levels to compete in major endurance events since its foundation in 1983 by giving them access to adaptive equipment, chances for training and racing, and a supportive network.

“One walk, run, or adapted cycling ride at a time, we are constructing a more inclusive society.”

Because of his preparation for the marathons with Achilles International, Bernstein was able to follow the sheriff’s instructions on when to turn while driving even though he was blind.

When he shouted, “Justice, I want your license and registration,” at the window after we had completed driving, he added, “that was my favorite part.”
“Life can be so demanding and weighty at times. You eventually just want to enjoy yourselves “Added he.

His next objective is to dress like a race car driver, complete with a safety helmet, and go receive his license from the Michigan secretary of state just to see what he will be told.

His goal, nevertheless, is to encourage the court to add additional blind justices. “You must view it through a completely different lens. I identify as a person of faith and consider myself to be somewhat spiritual; I feel connected to the creator “he observed

“Struggle sometimes allows you to relate more with others.”

When you participate in endurance events like marathons, your body is somewhat constrained, but your spirit may separate from your body and reach out to touch God, the speaker continued.

“The spirit and soul are extremely powerful, yet the body is incredibly mortal.”

He has guides to help him turn when he’s running, but when he competed in the Ironman race, it was more difficult because he couldn’t hear the guide underwater.


“When you’re underwater, you keep getting struck in the face. Other competitors get mixed up, and you start to feel like you’re drowning. At that point, you start to get spiritual. You feel like you’re being pulled under, and your spirit literally separates from your body. You just have faith to keep going.”

That is what life is all about.

Richard Bernstein handles roughly 25 cases every Wednesday. He memorizes all 25 of them in preparation for the legal arguments that come before him. In addition, he said, "You have to know all the common law cases that work in favor of the position  that support your position and then {you} have to know all the common law cases against your position."

His own life perspective as someone who cannot see allows him to experience more struggle and hardship, he said, but “sometimes struggle gives you the ability to empathize with others” as a judge.

People ask him how he can do his job if he cannot see evidence.

He told Fox News Digital that this, really, is not the job. Rather, it’s his job is to make sure the procedure is followed correctly. That is his focus; ultimately, the evidence is presented in reports.

Every Wednesday, he gets an estimated 25 cases that affect real peoples lives. “We are the last stop,” he added. He deals with serious issues people face, such as life without possibility of parole so every case matters.


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