MANHATTAN (CN) – The ACLU warned the town of Jackson, N.Y., that its recently enacted “English only” law is unconstitutional. Jackson, a town of about 2,000 east of Saratoga Springs, passed its ordinance on March 3, declaring that all city business had to be done in English.
“The English language is not under attack in Jackson or anywhere else,” the ACLU’s New York branch said in a statement. “This misguided law prohibits a vast array of constitutionally protected speech and unfairly discriminates against anyone with limited English skills who tries to conduct business with the town; whether they wish to report a crime or testify in local court, speak to a school official about their child’s education or obtain a building permit.”
The ACLU warned Jackson that the law is unconstitutional in a letter with the implicit threat of a lawsuit. Alaska, Arizona and Oklahoma tried to enact similar laws; all were thrown out as unconstitutional.