English as official language amendment passes subcommittee.

Rep. Timothy Bearden’s proposal to enshrine English as Georgia’s official language in our Constitution passed out of subcommittee yesterday:

“We’re all brought together by one thing,” Bearden told members of a House Judiciary subcommittee. “It’s the bond of the English language.”

Some 28 states have an English law, according to U.S. English Inc., which advocates for English as an official language. All eight times the question has gone to voters in other states, they’ve voted “yes,” Bearden said Tuesday.

But high hurdles may await in the General Assembly, where two-thirds of both the House and the Senate must approve the resolution before it can go to voters.


  1. commonsense says:

    I’m willing to let the angry and ignorant have this bill if in exchange we ban fat people in tank-tops at sporting events.

  2. commonsense says:

    You read the AJC article, those progressives had a few issues that maybe weren’t such a good idea, you know like, um, eugenics…

    So you might be right, maybe Roosevelt wasn’t ignorant, he just thought he knew what was best for everybody else. And as that article reminds us, there’s nothing more dangerous than a government that knows what’s best for everybody else

  3. DavidAtlanta says:

    I don’t see the point.

    What would this amendment change in our state government, if English is already the official language by statute?

    Why pass an amendment to the state constitution if it will have no effect on anything?

  4. Jeff Emanuel says:

    To prevent future changes, DavidAtlanta. The same reason you amend the Constitution to permanently enshrine anything that’s already the subject of a law or statute into policy.

  5. Joy says:

    So the idea is to pass a resolution now, to prevent a resolution that may or may not be proposed in the future?

    Won’t future legislators be just as likely to propose a change as without an official English law on the books? Only difference is having to state which law is being amended/repealed.

    I’m with David on this one… I don’t see the point.

  6. The basic logic behind this is the same as the logic behind the gay marriage amendment a few years back. An activist judge can’t rule an “English-only” statute unconstitutional if it’s already in the constitution. It’s a safeguard from judges who like to legislate from the bench.

  7. Demonbeck says:

    I’m not sure I understand the need for this either.

    Are we going to pass an official religion law too?

  8. jsm says:

    IMHO, the reason for passing this is to keep from ever having to search for an English-speaking staff person at the driver’s license office or the courthouse. In places like Gainesville and Dalton which have rapidly growing Spanish-speaking populations, English-speaking people could become disenfranchised by an immigrant majority. It already happens at Wal-Mart.

    This measure encourages assimilation into American culture.

  9. RuralDem says:

    I like this idea. However, does anyone see the irony in that Rep. Bearden is pushing this bill, however, he represents Villa Rica 🙂 ?

    I take it that he’ll be wanting to change the name as well?

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