State of Iowa

Iowa English-Only Law

League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa v. Pate

Lawsuit filed on behalf of League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Iowa challenging the state’s failure to provide non-English election materials, specifically Spanish language materials, to voters with limited English proficiency. The suit challenges Iowa’s “English-only Law,” which which mandates that all political documents from the state “shall be in the English language” unless translated materials are “​​necessary to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America or the Constitution of the State of Iowa.” LULAC argues that translating voting materials for Iowans with limited English proficiency falls under this exception and the court should declare that all voting materials can be translated. The lawsuit also asks the court to dissolve a previous injunction that prohibits the secretary of state from providing non-English voter registration forms. The secretary cited this injunction in response to a petition for declaratory order submitted in July asking for clarification around the English-only law as it applies to election materials.

Case Documents

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