A state law mandating elected officials be at least “minimally proficient in English” doesn’t violate anyone’s right to participate in government, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Friday.The case first hit Arizona’s lower courts when the mayor of San Luis claimed a city council candidate couldn’t read, write, or speak English and should thus be disqualified, The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reported Friday.
A lower court ruled candidate Alejandrina Cabrera should not be included on the ballot.
On Friday, the state’s supreme court upheld the ruling, stating English language requirements “ensure that the public officer will in fact be able to understand and perform the functions of office,” according to Law Blog.
The state supreme court ruled Arizona residents don’t have a Constitutionally mandated right to run for office, so the requirement that all public servants speak English doesn’t infringe on a person’s right to participate in government.
But the high court’s ruling doesn’t forever bar Cabrera from running for office.
“Should she obtain a sufficient English proficiency to perform as a city council member, she could then run for that office,” Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled.
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