Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Oklahoma Anti-Sharia Law Update
Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. District Court judge granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the State of Oklahoma from certifying the election results in State Question 755, the bill that would ban Oklahoma courts from using international or sharia law in making rulings.
From the decision (PDF):
"Having carefully reviewed the briefs on this issue, and having heard the evidence and arguments presented at the hearing, the Court finds that entry of a preliminary injunction enjoining defendants from certifying the election results for State Question 755 would not be adverse to the public interest. While the public has an interest in the will of the voters being carried out, for the reasons set forth above, the Court finds that the public has a more profound and long-term interest in upholding an individual’s constitutional rights."
This is basically a legal delaying tactic designed to hold things off until there's a higher court ruling on how the measure's provisions stack up Constitutionally. That will likely not take very long.
I would expect the Tenth Circuit to void this injunction forthwith once it gets there.
The CAIR plaintiff is arguing that sharia law is part of his free exercise of religion and that the Oklahoma amendment interferes with that. While th ejudge bought that, obviously sharia is not religious practice since it is law, and a law whose provisions violate the Constitution directly.Plus, the plaintiff contradicts his own argument by stating that he wants his will probated under sharia law - which is (a)hardly an exercise of religion but of legal jurisprudence and (b) not a violation of his right to practice Islam since he's going to be deceased at the time!
Not only that, but if sharia law is a religious practice and not law then the First and Fourteenth Amendments would already prevent Oklahoma courts (and all other state courts) from using it. And if sharia is indivisible from the practice of Islam, than those same Constitutional provisions would mandate that those practices of Islam not in accordance with US law would likewise be forbidden.
There are similar precedents in case law already on the books regarding certain practices of voodoo and santeria, some of whose rites violate US laws on felony animal torture. Likewise with polygamy...which is also permitted under sharia.