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NEWS RELEASE Contact: Phyllis Schlafly 
314-721-1213
May 7, 2001

FURTHER INFO:
   • Istook Challenges Foreign Language Requirements
   •The Importance Of The English Language
   • The Importance of Our English Language
  May Phyllis Schlafly Report
   • English Language Controversy In Utah
   • Eagle Forum amicus brief defending Alabama's English-only law.
   • Supreme Court decision
Supreme Court Decision Is Opportunity
to Overturn Clinton's Midnight Order and Regs

Phyllis Schlafly, president of Eagle Forum, issued this statement today:

On April 24, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down one of its most important decisions: Alexander v. Sandoval. The Supreme Court held that there is no civil right to force our government to use languages other than English.

One of Bill Clinton's most outrageous "midnight" actions was his Executive Order 13166 unconstitutionally trying to make not speaking English a new civil right. He ordered all executive-branch agencies to provide all federal benefits and services in foreign languages. Four days before Clinton left office, Attorney General Janet Reno published 15 pages of "Guidance" in the Federal Register, and the other executive departments then did likewise.

The Clinton holdovers in the Department of Health & Human Services are right now trying to force doctors to hire translators to accommodate non-English-speaking Medicare or Medicaid patients who might walk into their offices. EEOC is harassing small businesses that want their employees to speak English to customers. The U.S. House is about to vote more hundreds of millions of dollars for the fraud called Bilingual Education.

Clinton's Executive Order and Reno's regulation were based on the lower court decisions in this case. Now, those lower court decisions have been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court! This gives us the opportunity to reverse Clinton/Reno mischief.

The Supreme Court held that no individual has the right to sue to force a government entity to provide services in a language other than English. Everyone is free to speak the language of his or her choice, of course; but non-English speakers cannot force the government to accommodate them, even if laws requiring governmental use of English have a "disparate impact" on certain groups.

This gives us the biggest opportunity we've had in years to do something constructive for America. All efforts to require federal and state governments and schools to provide services in foreign languages, such as driver's license tests (which was the particular issue in the Sandoval case), can be stopped immediately.

The English language is the most important tie that binds us together as a nation. The English language is essential to public support for our U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. So many terms essential to the American system cannot be precisely translated into other languages such as Rule of Law, federalism, separation of powers, due process, conservative, limited government, state's rights, individual liberty, and free market.

If pressure groups can push America toward multiple official languages, they can rewrite our Constitution and other laws with enormous mischief in translation.

This Supreme Court decision in Sandoval gives us the opportunity to take a strong stand against the spending of our tax dollars to promote languages other than English. For example:

  • Congress and the Bush Administration should rescind Bill Clinton's unconstitutional Executive Order, which is based on a lower court ruling now reversed by the Supreme Court, and rescind all the department regulations that followed. Rep. Bob Stump (R-AZ) has introduced H.R. 969 to accomplish this.

  • Congress should cut off funds from all the busybody civil-rights bureaucrats who are right now attempting to enforce Clinton's Executive Order and to intimidate the schools, doctors, small businesses, and state agencies into providing services in foreign languages.

  • We should terminate Bilingual Education, one of the most expensive frauds in the federal budget. It's so unpopular that it was rejected by voter initiatives in California and Arizona. The test scores a few months ago proved that children are progressing faster since Bilingual Education was terminated and the kids were forced to speak and learn in English.

  • We should abolish all election ballots printed in languages other than English. Since the law requires naturalized citizens to speak basic English and only citizens may legally vote, there is no excuse for non-English ballots.

For further information, see the Phyllis Schlafly Report, May 2001. Copies available at 1-800-726-8096.


 
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