Judge blocks Arizona from enforcing ban on ethnic studies

A U.S. judge this week permanently blocked an ethnic studies ban in Arizona public schools, finding it racially motivated. The controversial law dismantled a popular Mexican-American studies program, triggering a seven-year court fight. U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima’s final judgment bars Arizona education officials from enforcing the 2010 law, which was passed in the same year as the state’s landmark immigration crackdown. Tashima wrote in his decision that the law “was enacted and enforced, not for a legitimate educational purpose, but for an invidious discriminatory racial purpose, and a politically partisan purpose,” and therefore “cannot be enforced.” Attorneys for the state denied racial discrimination was behind the law, and said they were considering an appeal.

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