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Published: Tuesday, 9/17/2013


Mich. courts get it right

High court ordered interpreters for any resident who has business before any judge

Michigan's Supreme Court took a big step in the right direction last week, when the justices ordered all courts in the state to provide interpreters for any resident who has business before any judge, magistrate, or referee, either in a civil or criminal case.

The decision to require interpreters was, the justices both said, essential to ensure that “every person, every party” has access to the court system and to equal justice under law.

Previously, some counties have provided translation series; others haven’t. The decision puts Michigan ahead of Ohio, which requires interpreters for criminal cases, but leaves accommodation in civil cases up to individual counties.

We live in a global economy, and contrary to what some believe, America never has had an official language. The court’s ruling is something Ohio should copy to make justice a little more equal.

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