on air now

US Supreme Court Justice overcoming monumental disability

Justice Richard Bernstein was elected to Michigan’s Supreme Court in 2014 and his journey hasn’t been an easy one.

He applied to work at 65 law firms and was rejected by every single one. But that wasn’t his greatest hardship.

Justice Bernstein is blind and has been since the day he was born.

“When you’re blind everything requires a bit more effort. If it takes you one hour it takes me five hours to do the work,” he tells Alan Jones.

“Going through law school was a pretty intensive process.”

Justice Bernstein hasn’t let his blindness hold him back, waking up at 4.30am to get across the mountains of paperwork that comes with the job.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re blind or not. You have to have a command of the information and you have to be able to make your argument.”

The Supreme Court Justice has one specific wish for the Australian justice system.

“My hope here in Australia is that you will start looking at appointing judges with disabilities.

“Because the more judges you have that have disabilities and that have diverse backgrounds, I think the better off everyone’s going to be.”

Click PLAY below to hear his extraordinary story