ANCHORAGE, AK. (CN) – The Alaska Supreme Court upheld most of a ballot initiative to adopt English as the state’s official language. Justice Carpeneti severed the first sentence of the Official English Initiative because it unconstitutionally requires English in “all government functions and actions,” which would bar government employees from using other languages while talking informally or unofficially about government business.
The court said the initiative’s second sentence, “State records must be in English,” is not unconstitutional because the state can distribute documents in other languages, so long as it also publishes an English version. See ruling in Alaskans for a Common Language v. Kritz.