MALDEF President & General Counsel Calls Upon Gov. Schwarzenegger To Support Increased Access To Court Interpreters

September 18, 2008

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) participated in a press conference at their Los Angeles office headquarters in support of Assembly Judiciary Chairman Dave Jones’s bill to expand court interpreter services to civil cases. MALDEF President and General Counsel John Trasviña issued the following statement:

“We are pleased to join fellow members of the bar, community leaders and civil rights organizations in strong support of Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Dave Jones’ bill to expand the availability of court interpreters to civil courts in California. Court interpreters make proceedings understandable and solve what is all too often a mystery for Californians. Having a court interpreter means the difference between obtaining justice and experiencing a confusing court ordeal. Having a court interpreter in civil proceedings means that our California civil courts will be open to a Californian who has not yet learned English and needs the court for redress in a motor vehicle accident, landlord-tenant dispute, domestic proceeding or any of the myriad instances where the courts make decisions over our daily lives. Chairman Jones’ bill makes California a leader in protecting the rights of all of its residents, irrespective of their language ability. And it is in keeping with the spirit of the 1923 United States Supreme Court decision in Meyer v. Nebraska, “The protection of the Constitution extends to all – to those who speak other languages as well as to those born with English on the tongue.” We urge Governor Schwarzenegger to sign into law this important legislation for justice for all in California.”

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Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund