Arizona City Bars Candidate for Local Office under English-only Law

As “agencies of the state,” the workings of local government are often highly regulated by state law.  In Arizona, a curious state law, A.R.S. 38-201, disqualifies any person from public office, whether at the state or local level, “who is unable to speak, write and read the English language.”  For more on the law, its history, and how it was recently used to exclude a candidate from running for the San Luis city council, see this AP article.

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About pdiller

Paul Diller is an associate professor at Willamette Law whose research focuses on local government, policy innovation, the police power, and related issues of state and federal constitutional law. His scholarly work has appeared in, among other journals, the Stanford Law Review, The University of Chicago Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and the Georgetown Law Journal. In recent years, Diller has worked on local obesity prevention policy with a leading nonprofit public health organization. Diller graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Pennsylvania, both magna cum laude. In his spare time, he enjoys baseball, snowboarding, drinking coffee, and spending time with his family.

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