Thursday, September 4, 2008

Probable blocking of EnglishFirst referendum is a very sad day for our way of governance

Nashville's three major TV stations reported tonight that a Metro judge ruled against the EnglishFirst referendum being on the November ballot. But supporters of the referendum promised to file an appeal.

Councilman Eric Crafton said he will appeal the decision. But it does not look like there wil be enough time to get the issue adjudicated by the deadline for printing the ballot and sent to absentee voters.

Opponents of the amendment feel great. But for our republic form of government and our democracy, this setback is a sad day. The right of the people to redress their government with grievances should never be blocked.

If the arguments of opponents cannot win the day at the ballot box, then it should be up to them to pursue relief from the courts in how the state and U.S. constitutions are interpreted in regards to EnglishFirst laws. The people filing petitions should not have to do that. And a judge should not be put into the position as tonight.

This issue is not going away. Another petition drive will bring it again for ballot approval. So deal with it now, or deal with it later.

The people of Nashville deserve now.

1 comment:

John Lamb said...

Your post suggests the importance of the Charter by championing citizens' right to change it.

You must also then believe in the importance of the Charter's timeliness provision, which determines when and how often a petition-driven proposal can appear on the ballot.

You do not, however, address the Charter's timeliness provision in your post about whether the measure should be put on the ballot this November. Have you considered that provision as a factor in your opinion?

If you have considered the timeliness provision, it is unclear whether you believe that the measure should be on the ballot this November because (a) the Charter's timeliness provision should always be interpreted in such a way that would put a measure on the ballot if there were ever any wiggle room in whether it was the right time for such a measure, no matter what standard rules of legal interpretation would have us conclude or (b) the Charter's provisions on timeliness should be waived in favor of giving people a voice in their government.

Just curious where you are on the timeliness provision.