PROPOSITION 106 (1988)
INVALID AMENDMENT TO THE ARIZONA CONSTITUTION,
1. English as the Official Language; Applicability
(1) The English language is the official language
of the State of Arizona.
(2) As the official language of this State, the
English language is the language of the ballot, the public schools, and all
government functions and actions.
(3) (a) This Article applies to:
(i) the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches
(ii) all political subdivisions, departments,
agencies, organizations and instrumentalities of this State, including local
governments and municipalities;
(iii) all statutes, ordinances, rules, orders,
programs and policies;
(iv) all government officials and employees during
the performance of government business.
(b) As used in this Article, the phrase "This State
and all political subdivisions of this State" shall include every entity,
person, action or item described in this Section, as appropriate to the circumstances.
2. Requiring This State to Preserve, Protect,
and Enhance English
This State and all political subdivisions of this
State shall take all reasonable steps to preserve, protect and enhance the
role of the English language as the sole official language of the State of
3. Prohibiting This State from Using or Requiring
the Use of Languages Other Than English; Exceptions
(1) Except as provided in Subsection (2):
(a) This State and all political subdivisions
of this State shall act in English and no other language.
(b) No entity to which this Article applies
shall make or enforce a law, order, decree or policy which requires the use
of a language other than English.
(c) No governmental document shall be valid
or enforceable unless it is in the English language.
(2) This State and all political subdivisions
of this State may act in a language other than English under any of the following
(a) to assist students who are not proficient
in the English language, to the extent necessary to comply with federal law,
by giving educational instruction in a language other than English to provide
as rapid as possible a transition to English;
(b) to comply with other federal laws;
(c) to teach a student a foreign language as
part of a required or voluntary educational curriculum;
(d) to protect public health or safety;
(e) to protect the rights of criminal defendants
or victims of crime.
4. Enforcement; Standing
A person who resides in or does business in this
State shall have standing to bring suit to enforce this Article in a court
of record of the State. The Legislature may enact reasonable limitations
on the time and manner of bringing suit under this subsection.
*This constitutional amendment was ruled unconstitutional
in Yñiguez v. Mofford, by the
federal District Court for Arizona and the 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals, but these decisions were vacated by the U.S. Supreme
Court on March 3, 1997. On April 28, 1998, it was struck down by a unanimous
Supreme Court as a violation of the constitutional rights to freedom of
speech and equal protection of the laws.
Source: Charles V. Dale and Mark
Gurevitz, Legal Analysis of Proposals to Make English the Official Language
of the United States, Oct. 17, 1995, Washington, D.C.: Congressional