English Only advocates will have their day in court Thursday in an effort to get their charter amendment proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman will hear the suit filed by English Only supporters in response to the Election Commission’s decision last week to not put the amendment proposal on the ballot.
English Only began as a ballot initiative to put a charter amendment proposal before the people that would explicitly say Metro business is only conducted in English. The proposal also states individuals have no right to services in any language besides English.
The proposal was blasted by Mayor Karl Dean, as Metro Council also passed a resolution encouraging voters to oppose it.
Eventually, English Only, which was primarily financed by a national advocacy group and pushed by Bellevue Councilman Eric Crafton, earned the necessary 10,103 signatures required to make it onto the November ballot.
Opponents believed the proposal shouldn’t qualify for the November ballot because of wording in the Metro charter, which says petition-driven amendments may only be submitted once in each two years.
Metro Director of Law Sue Cain wrote an opinion stating English Only shouldn’t qualify for the upcoming election because it fell short of the required two-year waiting period by three days. The previous petition-driven charter amendment was passed Nov. 7, 2006.
The Davidson County Election Commission voted 3-2 to not put the measure on the ballot, which caused the English Only advocates to sue.
The lawsuit called for an expedited hearing, which was granted.
Jon Crisp, one of the advocates for English Only, told NashvillePost.com last week the group would appeal to the state Supreme Court if it lost in Chancery Court Thursday.