Tom Horne testifies in Tucson Unified ethnic-studies trial

“My whole life has been a crusade against racism,” Horne said.

By Yoohyun Jung | Arizona Daily Star

One side sought to prove that Arizona’s former attorney general and schools chief had racist motives against Mexican-Americans in crafting and enforcing a state law banning ethnic studies programs, while the other side painted him as a crusader against racism.

In the second week of bench trial to determine whether state officials had discriminatory intent in enacting and enforcing the 2010 law, Tom Horne took the witness stand Tuesday. The trial is overseen by U.S Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima in Tucson in the U.S. District Court in Arizona.

The case was brought forward by former teachers and students of Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program, saying the law violated their constitutional rights. Tashima dismissed their claim in 2013, but the case was remanded by a federal appeals court two years after that.

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