• Oklahoma Senate panel approves bill prohibiting judges from basing decisions on foreign law

    by  • February 22, 2013 • Discrimination and Xenophobia, Islamic Practice and Jurisprudence, Issues in Politics, Sharia, United States

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma lawmakers are considering banning judges in the state from basing any rulings on foreign laws, including Islamic Sharia law.

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    A Senate panel on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the bill, which has broad support in the Republican-controlled Legislature. The bill would specifically make void and unenforceable any court, arbitration or administrative agency decision that doesn’t grant the parties affected by the ruling “the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions.”

    “This is a way to protect American citizens … where somebody may try to use any kind of foreign law or religious law to affect the outcome of a trial,” said Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, who sponsored the bill. Shortey described it as “American Law for American Courts.”

    “This bill is entirely unnecessary and creates significant uncertainty for Oklahomans married abroad as well as those Oklahomans who have adopted a child from another country or are seeking to do so,” Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said in a statement. “These Oklahoma families don’t deserve to have this type of doubt cast over them.

    “It also creates an atmosphere of uncertainty for foreign businesses seeking to do business with Oklahoma businesses.”

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