We are screwed.
This is a complex issue and dabbling in it, poor legal language is a recipe for failure. David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise should have been arguing the case. Join me at AFDI/SIOA Event at CPAC 2012, Islamic Law in America.
It's not religious law, sharia is political law. How can anyone oppose a law that seeks to prevent foreign laws from undermining fundamental constitutional liberties? We all accept that state and federal constitutional rights to a jury trial in CIVIL cases can be waived almost by default (thus two parties agreeing to be bound by German or French law where there is no jury trial right in a civil matter) would not be affected by the bill since the jury trial right is per the law waived by default.
But there is no jurisprudence in the federal system and none in any state that would allow a party to waive Equal Protection—that is, could an african american agree to be discriminated against by the state? Absolutely not, so why would we allow a party to “waive” an equal protection claim in court where the state’s police power is being used to enforce an offensive foreign law?
We now have groups that has ever come to this country with a ready-made model of society and government they believe to be superior to what we have here and are working to institute it.
DENVER, CO – A federal appeals court today unanimously upheld a ruling that blocked implementation of a discriminatory and unnecessary Oklahoma state constitutional amendment that would have prohibited state courts from considering what is broadly described as Islamic “Sharia law” and “international law.”
The court concluded that by singling out Islam for unfavorable treatment in state courts, the law likely violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The court rejected the state’s argument that the constitutional amendment was necessary to protect against improper application of Sharia law, explaining:
“Appellants do not identify any actual problem the challenged amendment seeks to solve. Indeed, they admitted . . . that they did not know of even a single instance where an Oklahoma court had applied Sharia law or used the legal precepts of other nations or cultures, let alone that such applications or uses had resulted in concrete problems in Oklahoma.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) challenged the amendment on behalf of Muneer Awad, executive director of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter.
“As the court recognized, this amendment did nothing more than target one faith for official condemnation,” said Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. “Even the state admits that there has never been any problem with Oklahoma courts wrongly applying religious law. The so-called ‘Save Our State Amendment’ was a solution in search of a problem, and a blatantly discriminatory solution at that.”
“No one in Oklahoma deserves to be treated like a second-class citizen,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “This proposed amendment was an affront to the Constitution and everything it stands for.”
The proposed constitutional amendment also would have barred state courts from applying or considering “international law.”
“Attempts to paint international law as irrelevant to the American legal system are wrong-headed and dangerous,” said Chandra Bhatnagar, senior attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program. “Preventing courts from considering international or foreign law violates our Constitution and undermines the ability of courts to interpret laws and treaties regarding global business, international human rights and even family law issues including international marriage and adoption. For U.S. global leadership to be taken seriously, courts must be able to honor international commitments consistent with our constitutional values.”