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Posted on 11/24/2010 8:57:33 AM PST by neverdem
Sharia Law: Coming Soon to a Courtroom Near You
An Oklahoma judge rules against the public interest.
If you thought only U.S. laws ruled the land, you thought wrong — at least according to a crazy decision recently handed down by a federal judge in Oklahoma.
On November 2, Sooner State voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum that directs courts to “rely on federal and state law when deciding cases” and forbids “courts from considering or using international law” or “Sharia law.” Muneer Awad responded by filing suit, and Judge Micki Miles-LaGrange, a Clinton appointee, promptly issued a temporary restraining order, putting the people’s voice on hold.
The plaintiff asserted that his First Amendment rights would be violated if Oklahoma’s constitution was amended to implement this ban against consideration of Sharia law. The amendment, he claimed, would constitute official “disapproval” of his religion. Moreover, it would invalidate his last will and testament, which incorporates various teachings of Mohammed.
Judge Miles-LaGrange bought the argument that banning foreign law would inhibit the practice of religion — in this case, Islam — and lead to excessive government entanglement with religion. She confused the practice of religion — which is not banned under the referendum — with the imposition of a foreign body of law derived from Islam.
In coming to these erroneous conclusions, the judge misunderstands the purpose of the First Amendment, as expressed by the Founders. The Establishment Clause was solely intended to prevent a national church from being funded with tax dollars, and to prevent the government from favoring any particular religious sect.
James Madison, the chief proponent behind the enactment of our Bill of Rights, said the Establishment Clause meant that “Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience.” Judge Miles-LaGrange does not explain how Oklahoma’s amendment would “inhibit” a Muslim from worshiping in his own way as dictated by his own conscience. Nor does she explain how it would prohibit a Muslim from abiding by Sharia law if he chose to do so.
To appreciate how strange the judge’s decision is, imagine if Oklahoma had passed a law saying that state courts could not substitute Roman Catholic canon law for state and federal law. No serious person would protest that this somehow inhibited Catholics in the practice of their religion.
This thought experiment also illustrates the broader point that only state laws passed by legislatures or referenda — and U.S. laws passed by Congress — provide the rule of decision for issues that are properly before our courts.
If Mr. Awad wants to live his life by his perceptions of Sharia law, he is entitled to do so, to the extent that it is consistent with federal and state law. But no one has a First Amendment right to require U.S. courts to rule according to foreign laws, including those that implement religious views. (For an example of where such a requirement might lead, read this Cully Stimson post about a New Jersey trial judge excusing a husband’s criminal conduct “because under Sharia law, [a] Muslim husband had a ‘right’ to rape his wife.”)
Our society and legal system are flexible. We make reasonable accommodations for various religions. Throughout American history, religious principles have served as a basis for decisions in many different contexts, and our precedents and traditions recognize this. But neither Jews nor Christians are allowed to force their religious laws and views into our state court systems as a substitute for the laws passed by our elected representatives.
That difference is illustrated by an example. If a mortgage lender wants to structure a mortgage for a Muslim in order to satisfy certain Islamic principles prohibiting interest, the lender can certainly do so by writing the contract terms accordingly. But if a lawsuit is filed over the mortgage, the deal will be construed according to applicable state and federal mortgage and contract laws.
That is much different from adding a contract provision that says any court dispute over the contract will be resolved under Sharia law. Such a provision should not be allowed, as it would permit foreign, religious-based law to override our state and federal laws.
In a blatant example of political correctness run amok, Judge Miles-LaGrange concluded that granting injunctive relief would not be adverse to the public interest. She is wrong. Striking down a constitutional law passed by the direct expression of the public will is certainly adverse to the public interest.
One final odd note: Judge Miles-LaGrange didn’t enjoin the new law from going into effect, which is what a judge normally does when a court finds a law unconstitutional. Instead, she enjoined the state from certifying the election results, something I have never seen before. So Oklahoma is prohibited from declaring the official outcome of the election. Although that effectively prevents the law from being implemented, it is a bizarre holding that helps obscure the fact that more than 70 percent of Oklahomans approved the primacy of American law in their state court system.
— Hans A. von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a former Justice Department official.
What a stupid argument. A will would not be invalidated for incorporating muslim teachings unless the will somehow violated state or federal law. For him to make that argument, he must demonstrate how the teachings fo Mohammed incorporated into the will violate state or federal estate law. In so doing, he would actually be making a pretty good case in SUPPORT of the amendment passed by the voters.
CA judges do it all the time. It’s really alarming when OK judges go berserk.
This will be appealed to the Fifth Circuit, which is dominated by Reagan and Bush appointees. I expect the ruling will be gutted.
What about old Navajo law, or old Apache law, or old Soiux law, they were here first. Did the judge consider all of them?????
Ooops, I meant Tenth Circuit...
The link below says it all - -
or Mormon, Hutterite, Mennonite, or Crusader Christians?
Too many educated idiots out there!
I don't think simply appealing rulings like this and waiting for sanity to strike is enough anymore. So, which of these other options do you think would be preferable?
1) Ignore the ruling, certify the election, and go on with life; or
2) on the theory that the just authority of real judges (as opposed to this ungulate) would suffer if we flout stupid rulings, start a multi-year, Congressional campaign to impeach and remove all judges who flagrantly ignore or disobey the Constitution as written.
"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby..."
Time to begin impeachment proceedings.
The Mormons were made to change their religious beliefs (in polygamy) as condition of Utah statehood. Now Mohammedans have succeeded in establishing THEIR law over all of us.
Miles-LaGrange is to rule next week.
she extended a temp restraining order blocking the results of the referendum.
and, BTW, the NJ judge's ruling was overturned.
THERE ARE AN ARMY OF LIKE-MINDED JUDGES AND LAWYERS OUT THRE, STANDING IN LINE FOR WORK LIKE THIS.
AND THERE IS NOT A SINGLE POS LEGAL-DEGREED INDIVIDUAL WHO WILL GO TO COURT AGAINST A BLATANT VIOLATION OF THE US CONSTITUTION!
Pardon me for yelling, but I am WAAAAY passed PO’ed.
The judge is ill informed as to what Sharia represents and means.
It means basically that their system wherever it takes root is to supplant and replace existing governments as theirs is superior and supreme. All of this is done here under the guise of what we call religious freedom.
Islam is not a religion, it is political, military all rolled into one with maybe 30% religion. It is a aggressive imperialist invasive force destined for domination unless people recognize it for what it is. That judge? Needs to look at a history book.
It is not at all what the founding forefathers had in mind when they thought of religion. Islam? Is a destructive trojan.
There never should have been a voter referendum to mandate that the courts follow the law (and NOT use Sharia Law) they are already supposed to follow the law (our law)
This gave them an excuse to challenge it, and strike it down with some feeble excuse, thereby giving people exactly what they didn't want.
The people never would have voted for a law requiring sharia law.
So the muzzie supporters did the two-step: They passed a law banning sharia law, so they could overturn that, and claim it means they CAN use sharia law.
Want gay marriage? pass a law banning it, then declare that law unconstitutional- viola: Gay Marriage
They use this all the time on us- and we keep falling for it.
Instead of passing a new law saying we will obey the old law, we should just obey the old laws.
Then fire anyone who fails to do their job.(impeach? how the hell do you get rid of judges?)
We see no distinction in quality between Islamic terrorism and Sharia law: only a distinction in degree.
So, what if that Sharia laws forbids a woman as judge? What if a religion is brought to court that bans blacks as anything but slaves?
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