The Next Rotation - The Universe of Fenris Fox
06 March 2007
 
The Forepaw-Chair Lawyer: English-only Laws & The First Amendment

With all the hullabaloo in the last year or two about "English-only" ordinances - designed mainly with the intent of dropping support in the Spanish-language for said speakers (one thought on this, is that it's to "make" them learn English - but I suppose one could take it any number of ways, if they try) - most opposition has been based on the 14th Amendment (i.e., civil rights).

I'm not a lawyer - hence, the title; it's only a hypothetical idea - but as I read it, wouldn't the First Amendment provide legal ammunition to getting such ordinances overturned?
" Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech... "
At least one Supreme Court case had a ruling extending this to state and local governments (private individuals and enterprise, as far as I know, tend not to be barred by the 1st Amendment).

Now, for the stretch - where I play "Devil's Advocate" (in the interest of full disclosure - I feel we need a "universal language" to function as a nation - at least for official use): Wouldn't "freedom of speech," include the language in which that speech is expressed?

In other words.. not only is a person free to say what they want - but also to do so in any language? It shouldn't matter whether that language is English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Swahili, Esperanto, Pig Latin, or Leetspeak.

Any thoughts?
 
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Assorted writings & artwork of a furry. Sometimes presented from the point-of-view of the author's "fursona" (personal furry): Fenris "Fenny" Fox, the futuristic kitsune.

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