19 February 2012

Going Backwards @ an increasing pace

Reposted from JobsAnger

The right-wing in this country has whined incessantly about so-called liberal "activist" judges, even though all those judges are doing in correctly interpreting the Constitution to make sure all citizens are assured of receiving equal rights (such as women, minorities, and homosexuals). But those same right-wingers have no problem with their own "activist" judges, who are acting to take away equal rights from American citizens. This is because most right-wingers don't believe in equal rights. They believe white, male, christian, conservative, English-speakers are superior and should have more rights than other American citizens.

Don't believe that? Then consider the case of Alejandrina Cabrera (pictured above). Ms. Cabrera had filed to run for the city council of San Luis, Arizona. But the mayor of that city decided Cabrera should not be allowed to run because she is not fluent in English. She says she can read English (letters, books) but only rates herself as about a 5 out of 10 in speaking and understanding spoken English. Her political opponents went to court to prevent Cabrera from being on the ballot in the city council election.

And her opponents were able to find a right-wing "activist" judge. Yuma County Superior Court Judge John Nelson ruled that Cabrera's name should be removed from the official election ballot. He said it was not a question of intelligence, but because of her lack of proficiency in the English language. Even more amazing is the fact that the Arizona Supreme Court upheld Judge Nelson's decision.

Why do I call these "activist" judges? Because although Arizona has a law that says statewide office-holders must be proficient in English, no such law exists for local elections like city council elections. What these judges did was create new law, and isn't that the definition of "activist" judges?

Now I know some of you may be saying right now that without a good knowledge of English she would not be able to properly serve the citizens in the city of San Luis. I disagree. This is not some white suburb of Phoenix. San Luis is a border town where 98.7% of the population is Hispanic and 87% of the residents speak Spanish in their homes. It sounds to me like an English-only city council person would be at a much more serious disadvantage than Ms. Cabrera.

Frankly, this is not just a case of right-wing judicial activism -- it also has the repellent stench of bigotry. (And by the way, Ms. Cabrera was born in the United States, so she is a citizen. She also graduated from a San Luis high school.) Refusing to allow her name on the ballot is simply wrong.

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