27 January 2012

Judge Orders Arizona Candidate Struck From Ballot - NYTimes.com

Lawyers for Alejandrina Cabrera, a candidate for the City Council in the border community of San Luis, Ariz., said Thursday that they might appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court a lower-court ruling that Ms. Cabrera be removed from the ballot because she did not speak English proficiently.

Judge John Nelson of the Yuma County Superior Court ruled late Wednesday night that Ms. Cabrera be struck from the ballot because she did not know enough English to do the job. In removing Ms. Cabrera, Judge Nelson agreed with the recommendation of a linguist who had conducted tests of Ms. Cabrera and found her English skills lacking.

The linguist, William G. Eggington, a professor at Brigham Young University in Utah, testified before the court on Wednesday. He said that based on interviews and tests he conducted with Mrs. Cabrera, she had “basic survival level” English that fell well below that needed to participate in city business.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed, although the judge acknowledged that there’s no precedent for him to follow,” John S. Garcia, one of the lawyers for Ms. Cabrera, said Thursday.

Mr. Garcia said he planned to meet Thursday night with Ms. Cabrera to determine her willingness to continue the legal battle.

I'm curious what you readers think. Should an American citizen be denied the right to run for office because they don't speak English well?

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