“Put a Sticker on It: Civil Rights, Bilingual Voting, and Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia in the 1970s”
September 27, 2013
Judge Joseph S. Lord III sat in his office listening intently to the attorney for the defendants Michael Minkin. “Your Honor,” declared Minkin “… setting up Spanish signs and materials at every election site would take too much time and be too costly for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia. The election is only a month away.” “Too long?” Lord responded. “How hard is it to put a sticker on it? Shall we time it then?” Lord took out a blank 8 1⁄2 by 11” sheet of paper from his worn wooden desk. “Let us assume for a moment that this paper is a sign in Spanish with election instructions on it. Could you please tape it to the front of my office door? I want to see how long that would take.” The attorneys representing the plaintiffs, Nelson Diaz and Herbert Teitelbaum, sat back in their chairs with wry smiles on their faces.