Monday, January 30, 2012

Who's at Fault Here?

The town of San Luis sits on the Arizona border in the southwest corner of the state. But 25,000 of the inhabitants live on the Arizona side of the border and 175,000 live on the Mexico side. So when a young woman who had graduated from high school on the Arizona side of San Luis filed as a candidate for city council, someone lodged the complaint that if elected she would violate the state law that says that anyone holding political office must be proficient in English. The judge who ajudicated the case ruled that the young woman's name must be stricken from the ballot because her command of English was not sufficient. The issues involved here seem obvious. The prevailing language in San Luis is Spanish. The Arizona law makes no attempt to define "proficiency" in English.

Who is at fault here? The high school? The State of Arizona and its laws? The judge?

Gene V Glass
University of Colorado Boulder
Arizona State University

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