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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Subpar English Dashes Ariz. Political Campaign

(CN) - The Arizona Supreme Court upheld a decision to knock a woman off the ballot for city council of a border town because she did not speak enough English.

Agreeing with a judge in Yuma County Superior Court, the court issued a decision from the bench that says Alejandrina Cabrera's name cannot appear on a March 13 ballot for city council in San Luis, a small town on the U.S.-Mexico border in Southern Arizona.

A sociolinguistics expert had told the lower court in January that Cabrera's English-language skills were not advanced enough for her to serve on the council.

Arizona state law requires elected officials to speak English.

The case came about after San Luis Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla challenged Cabrera's English skills in Superior Court. Cabrera had previously attempted to recall the mayor twice, according to media reports.

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