Here are the key quotes from Brown:
Study Finds Gaps in Aid for Non-English Speakers in State Civil Courts
“If a person cannot understand what is happening in the courtroom proceeding, an unfair result might occur. And that is contradictory to what we want our courts to do: administer justice, fairly and impartially.”A couple of posts on this blog have talked about recent (and apparently ongoing) work by Wilkerson & Salmons showing that German-speaking immigrants did not learn English for generations in many cases. They draw, as it happens, on evidence including Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions involving Yankees who swindled immigrants who didn't speak English. They also tell me that there are newspaper reports on court cases where Wisconsin-born citizens could not respond to simple questions in English.
“I wonder aloud how many immigrants from the 1840s through the 1920s lost their liberty, lost their property, lost their homes, their livelihood, all because they could not yet understand the English language to the fullest,” he said in an e-mail interview.
Judge Brown, who is deaf, said, “I think we are a better country because we are now acknowledging what we did not acknowledge in the 19th and early 20th centuries.”
So, yes, Judge Brown, the historical record bears you out. Thank you.