Text: S.1335 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (05/08/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1335


To amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the official language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 8, 2007

Mr. Inhofe (for himself and Mr. Enzi) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs


A BILL

To amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the official language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “S.I. Hayakawa Official English Language Act of 2007”.

SEC. 2. English as official language.

(a) In general.—Title 4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:

“CHAPTER 6LANGUAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT

“Sec.

“161. Declaration of official language.

“162. Official Government activities in English.

“163. Preserving and enhancing the role of the official language.

“164. Exceptions.

§ 161. Declaration of official language

“English shall be the official language of the Government of the United States.

§ 162. Official Government activities in English

“The Government of the United States shall conduct its official activities in English, including preparing publications, income tax forms, and informational materials in English.

§ 163. Preserving and enhancing the role of the official language

“(a) In general.—The Government of the United States shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the official language of the United States.

“(b) Government materials in English.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Unless expressly provided for in an applicable provision of law, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English.

“(2) EFFECT OF EXCEPTIONS.—If an official or representative of the Government of the United States acts, communicates, performs or provides services, or provides materials in a language other than English, that exception does not create a legal entitlement to additional acts, communications, services, or materials in that language or any language other than English.

“(c) English version as authority.—If the Government of the United States issues a form in a language other than English (or such forms are completed in a language other than English), the English language version of the form is the sole authority for all legal purposes.

§ 164. Exceptions

“(a) In general.—This chapter may not apply to the use of a language other than English—

“(1) for religious purposes;

“(2) for training in foreign languages for international communication; or

“(3) to programs in schools designed to encourage students to learn foreign languages.

“(b) Interpreters.—This chapter may not be considered to prevent the Government of the United States from providing interpreters for persons over 62 years of age.”.

(b) Conforming amendment.—The table of chapters for title 4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

“6. Language of the Government 161”.

SEC. 3. Repeal of bilingual voting requirements.

(a) In general.—

(1) BILINGUAL ELECTION REQUIREMENTS.—Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973aa–1a) is repealed.

(2) VOTING RIGHTS.—Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973b) is amended by striking subsection (f).

(b) Conforming amendments.—

(1) REFERENCES TO SECTION 203.—The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973 et seq.) is amended—

(A) in section 204, by striking “or 203,”; and

(B) in section 205, by striking “, 202, or 203” and inserting “or 202”.

(2) REFERENCES TO SECTION 4.—The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973 et seq.) is amended—

(A) in sections 2(a), 4(d), 5, and 13, by striking “, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 4(f)(2)”;

(B) in subsections (a), (b), and (c) of section 3, by striking “, or in contravention of the voting guarantees set forth in section 4(f)(2)”; and

(C) in section 4(a)—

(i) in paragraphs (1)(A) and (3), by striking “or (in the case of a State or subdivision seeking a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection) in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2)”;

(ii) in paragraph (1)(B), by striking “or (in the case of a State or subdivision seeking a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection) that denials or abridgments of the right to vote in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2) have occurred anywhere in the territory of such State or subdivision”; and

(iii) in paragraph (5), by striking “or (in the case of a State or subdivision which sought a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection) that denials or abridgments of the right to vote in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2) have occurred anywhere in the territory of such State or subdivision”.

SEC. 4. English language requirement for ceremonies for admission of new citizens.

Section 337(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1448(d)) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: “All public ceremonies in which the oath of allegiance is administered pursuant to this section shall be conducted solely in the English language.”.

SEC. 5. Nonpreemption.

This Act and the amendments made by this Act may not be construed to preempt any law of any State.