Appeals Court Upholds Injunction Against Okla. Sharia Law Amendment

By:  Joe Wolverton, II
01/13/2012
       
Appeals Court Upholds Injunction Against Okla. Sharia Law Amendment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Tuesday unanimously upheld a lower court ruling enjoining the enforcement of an amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution that barred state courts from taking Sharia law into consideration when deciding cases.  Although the measure received overwhelming support from the citizens of the Sooner State, it was immediately challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Tuesday unanimously upheld a lower court ruling enjoining the enforcement of an amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution that barred state courts from taking Sharia law into consideration when deciding cases. Although the measure received overwhelming support from the citizens of the Sooner State, it was immediately challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Before reporting the Court’s opinion, a bit of legislative history is in order.

On May 25, 2010, the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate passed House Joint Resolution 1056. The bill directed “the Secretary of State to refer to the people for their approval or rejection a proposed amendment to Section 1 of Article VII of the Oklahoma Constitution ... known as the "Save Our State Amendment.”

The proposed amendment states:

The Courts provided for in subsection A of this section, when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the Oklahoma Constitution, the United States Code, federal regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, established common law, the Oklahoma Statutes and rules promulgated pursuant thereto, and if necessary the law of another state of the United States provided the law of the other state does not include Sharia Law, in making judicial decisions. The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia Law. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all cases before the respective courts including, but not limited to, cases of first impression.

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo: Oklahoma state flag

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