Law: No Official Language

A federal judge knocks down Arizona's English-only law

Viva la diferencia! That was the message behind the federal court decision that last week struck down Arizona's official English law. The measure, which was narrowly approved as a state constitutional amendment two years ago, required state and local governments to conduct their business in English. Although a state court had earlier upheld the provision, federal district Judge Paul Rosenblatt concluded that the law violated First Amendment guarantees. He ruled that the law forced government officials and employees "to curtail their free-speech rights" by impermissibly tying their tongues in their dealings with non-English-speaking constituents. Arizona Governor Rose Mofford, who criticized the...

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