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ON LANGUAGE MINORITIES:
The provisions of the VRA relating to non-English-speaking citizens appear to be primarily directed toward, through the use of translations, the facilitation of their voting — that is, it seeks to adapt to an existing situation. This is something different from the proposed legislation, which, by requiring, after up to 8 years, a working comprehension (either oral or written) of English; it attempts, in other words, not only to adapt to the situation, but also, over time, to alter it.
Perhaps the courts may hold that such an attempt is implicitly prohibited. If so, that can be pretty easily dealt with — simply by making the waivers indefinite, until such time as federal legislation may permit a definite time limit to them.
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