New York town ordered to scrap English-only ordinance

The ordinance, which prohibits public officials in Jackson from speaking or writing in any language but English while they are carrying out their official duties, will be voted on once again by the town council June 1 because of the intervention by the state AG's office.

Schneiderman's office April 27 sent a letter to Jackson Town Supervisor Alan Brown warning that the ordinance violates the US Constitution's equal protection clause, federal and local statutes, as well as the right to freedom of expression for public employees and all people who visit the town or work in it.

The town council met May 4 to prepare the agenda that its members will discuss June 1 and the ordinance was put on the list of issues to be dealt with at that time.

It is expected that the council will vote to scrap the controversial measure.
Nevertheless, the attorney general's office warned Brown in the letter that if the ordinance is not cancelled "our office will consider more formal steps to ensure that this illegal ordinance is invalidated".

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