Nashville English-first initiative fails in courts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Supreme Court has denied an expedited hearing aimed at getting an initiative on the November ballot that would require the Nashville government to operate in English only.

The Tennessee Court of Appeals made the same ruling Tuesday.

Backers of the measure are appealing a Nashville chancellor's ruling that putting the initiative on the ballot would violate a city charter provision that referendums be two years apart.

If passed, the measure could prevent the city from translating written materials into other languages or using interpreters to communicate with people who speak English poorly, even during emergencies.

Councilman Eric Crafton now is seeking 2,475 signatures to force a special election on the issue.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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