English as the official language laws?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by manifold, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. manifold
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    manifold Diamond Member

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    Do you think laws mandating English as the official language are in violation of the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech? Why? Why not? I never really thought about that before, but a friend of mine brought it up recently in conversation so I thought I'd pose the question to the intelligent minds of USMB.
     
  2. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    It is the official language of USMB?

    Me ne freggo!!!! :razz:
     
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    No, I do not.

    People are free to speak any language they care to.

    To some extent I believe we ought to help people who don't speak English to learn the language, but I believe we have gone completely overboard making it okay to live here and not know enough of the language to get along.

    If you cannot speak ENGLISH, then how on earth can you be an informed voter in the USA?
     
  4. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    Maybe in France? They have good newspapers and talk about us all the time. :lol:
     
  5. manifold
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    manifold Diamond Member

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    I don't think that's a particularly difficult hurdle to be honest. Being informed only requires the desire to be informed. I know plenty of English speaking people that are woefully uninformed. Heck, I'd even categorize myself as mildly uninformed. :D
     
  6. Tech_Esq
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    Tech_Esq Sic Semper Tyrannis!

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    Just in general, i don't think it would violate the 1st Amendment. Official language only governs what language official government business will be conducted in. "Free speech" generally concerns the ability to express ones opinion. People would still be able to do that and they could even petition the government in a foreign language (just nobody would understand it).

    I would be interested in hearing what your friend's logic was for why the 1st Amendment would prohibit official language laws.
     
  7. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    is there not already a rule that rules all government matters being done in english? and if done in another language AS WELL, this other language is a secondary language?
     
  8. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    there are entire communities, made up of millions, in big cities that do not speak our language....China town in new york, as an example....but these people are more informed than the average joe on many American governmental issues because they have their own newspapers and tv stations and people that interpret the news in to Chinese...

    same with little italy in nyc....they do not speak the language but are very informed, none the less....
     
  9. Tech_Esq
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    Tech_Esq Sic Semper Tyrannis!

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    Only in a few towns and some small cities. I look at it more as a cost saving matter more than anything else. It's bad enough we create all this bureaucratic paperwork once and in one language, but creating it and processing it in multiple languages is really too much waste. The sooner people assimilate, the better chance they have of being successful. It's a win-win to do the little things that ensure this will happen. "Forcing" people to do some things in English, is a good policy and has the side benefit of being cost effective.
     
  10. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    if ballots are printed in english and chinese in china town, the waste is probably printing it in english, no?

    the chinese in chinatown are citizens and pay their taxes, both federal and local....so wouldn't it be them, with their taxes, that is paying for their voting district's printing in chinese?

    i am not certain how it works?

    and yes, i think it is very important for foreigners to assimilate with us english speaking americans....
     

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