Writing in the Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell has issued a call to action for all genealogists. Judy writes:
On Thursday of this coming week (February 2, 2012), the Subcommittee on Social Security of the House Ways & Means Committee in Washington, D.C., will hold hearings that have the capacity to drastically affect the access of genealogists to the Social Security Death Index (“SSDI”) and related underlying information.
You can read the press release from subcommittee chairman Sam Johnson (R-Texas) here and — trust me on this one — it ain’t friendly to genealogists and our day-to-day use of the SSDI. We all need to be crystal clear on this: Rep. Johnson’s bill would effectively mean an end to public access to the Social Security death master file (the essential source for the SSDI) completely.
Only invited witnesses will be allowed to present oral testimony at Thursday’s hearings. In Washington-speak, that means “the deck is stacked.” But all of us, as citizens and as genealogists, can be heard.
Judy knows what she is talking about. I have had the pleasure of knowing Judy for several years and can vouch for her legal and genealogical expetise. She is a genealogist with a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from George Washington University and a law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. She is a former newspaper reporter, trade association writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, law editor and, for more than 20 years, is now an adjunct member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and, among others, state genealogical societies in New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas.
I strongly urge you to read Judy's article at http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2012/01/29/ssdi-call-to-action/ and to follow her suggestions.
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