Wednesday, May 16, 2012

English in California

I've written before on the importance of language.  I wish I had more resources, because in California, there's something we can do about it.

Article 3, Section 6 of the California Constitution reads:
SEC. 6.  (a) Purpose.
   English is the common language of the people of the United States of America and the State of California.  This section is intended to preserve, protect and strengthen the English language, and not to supersede any of the rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution.
   (b) English as the Official Language of California.
   English is the official language of the State of California.
   (c) Enforcement.
   The Legislature shall enforce this section by appropriate
legislation.  The Legislature and officials of the State of
California shall take all steps necessary to insure that the role of English as the common language of the State of California is preserved and enhanced.  The Legislature shall make no law which diminishes or ignores the role of English as the common language of the State of California.
   (d) Personal Right of Action and Jurisdiction of Courts.
   Any person who is a resident of or doing business in the State of California shall have standing to sue the State of California to enforce this section, and the Courts of record of the State of California shall have jurisdiction to hear cases brought to enforce this section.  The Legislature may provide reasonable and appropriate limitations on the time and manner of suits brought under this section.
I'll never support frivolous lawsuits, but this isn't frivolous.  Anyone in CA has standing to sue to to enforce English as the official language of California.  It's time to do it!  If you have the resources, this something you can do to shut down Balkanization and extra expense to taxpayers in California by preventing millions of dollars of printing of materials in other languages. 

What started me thinking about this today was an excellent post by Victor Davis Hanson, "Can California be Fixed?"  The answer is "probably."  Number 6 of his 10 suggestions is:  "6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business."

We've done that.  We now just need to enforce it!

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