Judge Blocks Arizona’s Ban on Mexican-American Studies

Carlos Galindo protests outside the Arizona Department of Education in Phoenix in 2011. State lawmakers voted in 2010 to ban ethnic studies. (Matt York / Associated Press)
Matt York / Associated Press

A federal appeals court judge blocked Arizona’s ban on Mexican-American studies Wednesday, ruling that the state cannot even “audit” districts to see if they are complying with the ban.

The ban on Mexican-American studies was passed in 2010.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Wallace Tashima ruled that the passage of the studies ban was a violation of the constitution. He said the ban was “not for a legitimate educational purpose, but for an invidious discriminatory racial purpose and a politically partisan purpose.”

He also ruled that the state could not withhold funding for school districts that refused to uphold the ban. (It was the threat of losing $14 million in state funds that led a Tucson district to drop its Mexican-American studies in 2012.)

Former Tucson teacher Curtis Acosta celebrated the ruling by tweeting:

In August Tashima had ruled that the ban was unconstitutional but had not taken any steps to halt its enforcement. The new ruling blocks the ban.

While handing down the ruling Tashima was critical of John Huppenthal and Tom Horne, both of whom pushed for the ban as Arizona state superintendents of public instruction.

Tashima claimed Huppenthal and Horne “were pursuing these discriminatory ends in order to make political gains.” He wrote, “Horne and Huppenthal repeatedly pointed to their efforts against the [Mexican American studies] program in their respective 2011 political campaigns, including in speeches and radio advertisements. The issue was a political boon to the candidates.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.


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