Canyon County to consider ditching "English only" rule

Posted at 3:53 PM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 17:54:02-05

NAMPA — Canyon County Commissioners have known for six years that a resolution banning county communication was "constitutionally infirm," records show.

County legal staff made the warning in a memorandum dated Oct. 24, 2013 that was shared with the Idaho Press last week. The Nampa-based newspaper reports the commissioners will consider rescinding the resolution on Monday.

The English-only rule was made in 2006, by then-commissioners David Ferdinand and Robert Vasquez. It barred county communication in any languages other than English, with an exception for court functions.

County spokesman Joe Decker says the rule was only for written communication, though that language isn't included in the resolution.

In the memorandum, legal staffers warn the resolution was "not grounded in logic or the law" and said they believed it to be invalid because it violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.