Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Court won’t halt English-only vote

DAVIDSON COUNTY The Supreme Court of Tennessee on Monday dismissed a request for a speedy appeal filed by Nashville residents who want to stop the English-only election. David Randolph Smith, one of two Nashville lawyers representing the legal immigrants who sued to stop the election, said he will probably file a request for an expedited appeal with the Tennessee Court of Appeals. Smith's clients, Rosa Quinteros and Wyn Myint, have claimed in court documents that holding an election on an unconstitutional measure violates their rights. The measure would bar in most cases Metro government from providing services or materials in any language other than English. Jim Roberts, a Nashville lawyer representing Nashville English First and Metro Councilman Eric Crafton — the driving forces behind the proposed amendment — has argued that the measure is constitutional and that pre-election challenges cannot be heard in court under Tennessee law. In court, Metro attorneys have argued that the English-only measure is unconstitutional but agreed that pre-election challenges are not legitimate. Ballots including the English-only measure were mailed Monday to Davidson County voters living overseas. Early voting on the matter is scheduled to begin Jan. 2. The election is Jan. 22. — JANELL ROSS

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