1961 July 1

New York Civil Liberties Union Fights NY “English Only” Voting Requirement


The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed a suit on this day on behalf of a Puerto Rican immigrant, reversing a position it had taken in 1958.

The case anticipated the national controversy over a call for “English Only” laws by a quarter of a century. In the 1980s, a new anti-immigrant movement arose to demand that states and the federal government pass “English only” laws and to declare English the official language of that state or of the U.S.

Learn more about the NYCLU: http://www.nyclu.org/

Learn more about the law of “English-only” requirements: http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/29/1606.7

Learn even more: Ari Berman, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (2015)

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