Oklahoma’s dreams of being sharia-free have once again been shut down.
A bill to ban foreign law from being considered in state courts has been denied a hearing by the Senate Rules Committee Monday, effectively killing the bill for the rest of the year. This decision by the committee comes just a few months after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction to block provisions of a November ballot measure that would have done the same.
State Rep. Sally Kern (R) introduced a bill in February that was modeled after State Question 755, which voters overwhelmingly approved in November. SQ755 amended the state constitution so that it “forbids courts from considering or using international law [and] forbids courts from using or considering Sharia Law.”
At the end of November, federal Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange granted a temporary injunction against the measure after a Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) official sued to block it, saying that the case goes “to the very foundation of our country, our Constitution, and particularly, the Bill of Rights.”
The Oklahoma Election Board appealed the decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kern’s bill describes itself as an “Act relating to foreign law,” declares any ruling to be “void and unenforceable” if it is based on “any law, rule, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States and Oklahoma Constitutions.” It passed the House by a vote of 76-3.
“This bill is American law for American courts. That’s what it’s about,” the Associated Press reports she said. “This bill does not in any way violate the First Amendment, which is freedom of religion. It doesn’t trample any other rights given in the constitution.”