DOI link for English-Only Laws
English-Only Laws book
The US House of Representatives passed an "English empowerment" bill in 1996 that would have required only English to be used for all federal business, including ballots for all US elections. Arizona's constitution contained an English-only provision similar to the House proposal, but the Arizona Supreme Court struck down the provision in Ruiz v. Hull, on the basis that the law violated both free speech rights under the First Amendment and equal protection of the law under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Arizona law prohibited state workers from using any language other than English to perform any "official act," even including prohibitions on interpersonal discussions between co- workers. In 2000, Arizona voters adopted the California immersion approach. The southern half of the state, which holds the majority of registered Democrats and a strong teachers union, staunchly opposed the measure.