. . . Maybe Because Gary Doesn't Know What the Law Says!

At the February 14, 2006 city council meeting [the day that David Perea moved on to the next world], Gary Taylor said something that just had to be challenged.  He commended Jay Imperial for performing a "service" for the people of Rosemead in suing his own city to stop the recall election.  Taylor said that he had read the law, and that the law was clear:  citizen-initiated petitions needed to be circulated in multiple languages.

This is simply not true.  So, on February 28, 2006, I went to the city council meeting with a print-out of the entirety of Title 42, Chapter 20 of the United States Code.  That's the collection of all federal election laws, including the Voting Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act amendments of 1970, 1975, and 1982.  I challenged Mr. Taylor to read to me the portion of "the law" where the multilingual requirements for citizen-sponsored petitions were "clearly" required.

Not surpisingly, he declined my challenge.  I presume that's because he knows what I know:  There is nothing in the law that says anything about petitions needing to be translated.  The law says that when ever any "political subdivision" subject to the multilingual requirements of sec. 203 of the Voting Rights Act "provides" election materials in English, it must also provide that material in applicable minority languages.

The plain meaning of the law does look to be pretty clear.  It's only when the government "provides" the materials in English that it must also provide that material in other languages, as well.  Since Rosemead definitely did not "provide" the recall petitions [we had to pay for and supply the recall petitions at our own expense], the multilingual requirements of sec. 203 should not apply.

Judge Klausner did not agree with this plain reading of the law.  But his interpretation of the law does not change the text of the law.  And it does not make Gary Taylor's statement right.  The law does not say what Gary Taylor claimed it said.

Of course, as the next post makes crystal clear, Mr. Taylor does not overly concern himself with what the law might say.