New York – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ordered the upstate town of Jackson to "immediately" overturn a local ordinance that made English the town's official language, warning that the statute is "illegal" and "discriminatory."
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 on June 1 because of the intervention by the state AG's office.
Schneiderman's office on April 27 sent a letter to Jackson Town Supervisor Alan Brown warning that the ordinance violates the U.S. 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 on May 4 to prepare the agenda that its members will discuss on 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 AG'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."