Bans on court use of sharia/international law: list of all bills since 2010, new 2011 Michigan bill, first 2012 bill prefiled

This post has been updated. Click here.

Since the last update of this list in August, two pieces of legislation have been introduced. Michigan’s SB 701 appears to be the Senate version of HB 4769, which has gone nowhere since its June introduction.

The other bill is Alabama SB 33 of 2012, a prefiled bill for the next session. SB 33 of 2012 is a constitutional amendment that looks more like HB 607 / SB 61 than HB 597 / SB 62 in that it does not specifically mention “sharia”.

It should be noted that at least some 2011 bills will make a return in 2012; roughly half of states allow bills to be “carried over” from one session to the next. Definitive answers as to which bills will return will be available as the legislatures come back into session in January.

Full roster of bills going back to 2010 after the jump.

2012

Bill Provisions Status
Alabama SB 33 (Constitutional Amendment) Enacts American and Alabama Laws for Alabama Courts Amendment. Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, arbitrative, or enforcement authority shall not apply or enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate any state law or a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” Prefiled. In House Committee on Judiciary.

2011

Bill Provisions Status Carryover in 2012?
Alabama HB 597 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides “the courts…when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, the United States Code, federal regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, established common law, the Code of Alabama 1975, and rules promulgated thereto, and if necessary the law of another state of the United States, provided the law of the other state does not include Sharia, 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. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all cases before the respective courts including, but not limited to, cases of first impression.” Died in House Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. No
Alabama HB 607 (Constitutional Amendment) Enacts American and Alabama Laws for Alabama Courts Amendment. Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, arbitrative, or enforcement authority shall not apply or enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate any state law or a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” Died in House Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. No
Alabama SB 61 (Constitutional Amendment) Defines foreign law as “any law, rule, or legal code, or system established, used, or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the states or territories of the United States, or which exist as a separate body of law, legal code, or system adopted or used anywhere by any people, group, or culture different from the Constitution and laws of the United States or the State of Alabama.” Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, arbitrative, or enforcement authority shall not apply or enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate any state law or a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” Approved by Senate Committee on Judiciary 3/24/11. Died on Senate floor when legislature adjourned. No
Alabama SB 62 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides Alabama courts “when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, the United States Code, federal regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, established common law, the Code of Alabama 1975, and rules promulgated thereto, and if necessary the law of another state of the United States, provided the law of the other state does not include Sharia, 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. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all cases before the respective courts including, but not limited to, cases of first impression.” Approved by Senate Committee on Judiciary 3/24/11. Died on Senate floor when legislature adjourned. No
Alaska HB 88 Prohibits a court, arbitrator, mediator, administrative agency, or enforcement authority from applying a foreign law if application of the foreign law would violate an individual’s right guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of Alaska or the United States Constitution. Approved by House State Affairs Committee 3/17/11. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 4/4/11. Died in House Finance Committee when legislature adjourned.
Probably
Arizona HB 2064 Defines “foreign law” as “any law, rule or legal code or system other than the constitution, laws and ratified treaties of the united states and the territories of the united states, or the constitution and laws of this state….a court, arbitrator, administrative agency or other adjudicative, mediation or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the united states or conflict with the laws of the united states or of this state.” Signed into law by governor 4/12/11. No
Arizona HB 2582 Enacts the “Arizona Foreign Decisions Act” Declares the acceptance of Arizona into the Union was a “compact”. Declares “Congress has no authority to preempt state regulation of state courts.” Prohibits courts from implementing, referring or incorporating or using “a tenet of any body of religious sectarian law” and specifically includes sharia law, canon law, halacha and karma, but exempts decisions based on Anglo-American legal tradition, laws or case law from Great Britain prior enactment of the statute, or the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, “and the principles on which the United States was founded.” Prohibits use of any case law or statute from a non-U.S. jurisdiction or “foreign body”, including the United Nations. Decisions that make use of a body of religious sectarian law or foreign law declared void and usages declared to be grounds for impeachment. Declares these provisions apply to Federal courts sitting in diversity jurisdiction. Requires any court that construes this statute must do so in a way to confine the power of Congress and the federal judiciary. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/17/11. Died in House Rules Committee when legislature adjourned. No
Arizona HCR 2033 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides state’s courts shall not consider, enforce or otherwise incorporate into any decision on the merits the legal precepts of other nations or cultures that run counter to the laws of this state unless expressly ratified by bicameralism and presentment in the state legislature or duly ratified as a treaty by the Senate of the United States. Provides state courts shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the Constitution of this state, The United States Code, federal regulations adopted pursuant to the United States code, established common law, the laws of this state and rules adopted pursuant to the laws of this state and, if necessary, the laws of another state of the United States provided the law of the other state does not incorporate directly or by reference international law or the precepts of nations or cultures. Died in House when legislature adjourned. No
Arizona SCR 1010 (Constitutional Amendment) Requires courts, when making judicial decisions, to uphold and adhere to the laws of the U.S. Constitution, Arizona Constitution, U.S. Code, Federal regulations, established common law, Arizona laws and rules and if necessary, the laws of another state within the U.S. provided the laws in the other state do not include international law. Prohibits Arizona courts from considering international law or legal precepts of other nations or cultures when making judicial decisions. Died in Senate Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. No
Arkansas SJR 10 (Constitutional Amendment) (Placeholder bill) Declares “The purpose of this Senate Joint Resolution is to amend the Arkansas Constitution concerning the application of foreign laws, legal codes, or systems for the purpose of protecting rights and privileges granted under the United States Constitution and the Arkansas Constitution.” Died in Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs when legislature adjourned. No
Arkansas SB 97 Prohibits any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any foreign law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States Constitution and the Arkansas Constitution Died in Senate Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. No
Florida HB 1273 Defines term “foreign law, legal code, or system”; specifies public policy of this state in applying choice of foreign law, legal code, or system. Declares that certain decisions rendered under such laws, codes, or systems are void. Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration 5/7/11. No
Florida SB 1294 Specifies the public policy of this state in applying the choice of a foreign law, legal code, or system under certain circumstances. Declares that certain decisions rendered under such laws, codes, or systems are void. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 4/4/11. Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration 5/7/11. No
Georgia HB 45 Provides “the term ‘foreign law’ means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the United States or its territories…A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other tribunal shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” Died in House Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. Probably
Georgia HB 242 Declares “‘foreign law’ means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the United States or its territories…A court, administrative agency, or other tribunal shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” Died in House Committee on Judiciary Non-Civil when legislature adjourned. Probably
Georgia SB 51 Provides that no court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other tribunal shall enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States Died in Senate Committee on the Judiciary when legislature adjourned. Probably
Indiana HB 1078 Prohibits the enforcement of a foreign law (defined as a law established and used outside the jurisdiction of the United States) if the enforcement would violate a right granted by the Indiana or United States constitution. Died in House Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. No
Indiana SB 298 Prohibits the enforcement of a foreign law (defined as a law established and used outside the jurisdiction of the United States) if the enforcement would violate a right granted by the Indiana or United States constitution. Died in Senate Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. No
Indiana SB 520 Prohibits the enforcement of a foreign law (defined as a law established and used outside the jurisdiction of the United States) if the enforcement would violate a right granted by the Indiana or United States constitution. Approved by full Senate 2/17/11. Died in House Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. No
Indiana SJR 16 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides a court may not enforce a law, rule, or legal code or system established and either used or applied in a jurisdiction outside the states of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the territories of the United States if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by this constitution or the Constitution of the United States. Died in Senate Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. No
Iowa HB 489 Defines “foreign law, legal code, or system” as “any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including but not limited to international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals.” Provides “It is the public policy of this state that the primary factor which a court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator, or other entity or person acting under the authority of state law shall consider in granting comity to a decision rendered under any foreign law, legal code, or system against a person in this state is whether the decision rendered violated any right of the person in this state guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of Iowa, the Constitution of the United States, or any statute enacted or decision issued under the constitution of the state of Iowa or the United States.” Died in House Judiciary Committee when legislature adjourned. Probably
Iowa HB 575 Enacts “Iowa Freedom and Sovereignty Act.” Defines “Foreign law” as “any law enacted by a jurisdiction or a governmental or quasi-governmental body other than the federal government or a state of the United States. “Foreign law” includes a religious law, legal code, accord, or ruling promulgated or made by an international organization, tribunal, or formal or informal administrative body.” Provides “any foreign law or other law that is in conflict with the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, or the Constitution of the State of Iowa shall not have force or effect in this state…It is the public policy of this state that the only factor that a court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator, or other person acting under authority of this state’s laws shall consider in granting comity to a decision rendered under a foreign law that affects a sovereign citizen of this state is whether the decision violates the sovereign citizen’s rights under the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Iowa.” Died in House State Government Committee when legislature adjourned. Probably
Iowa HJR 14 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides the state courts “when exercising judicial power, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Iowa, the United States Code, federal regulations, established common law, the Iowa Code, the Iowa administrative code, and if necessary the law of another state of the United States provided the law of the other state does not include Sharia law. The courts shall not use the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law. The provisions of this section shall apply to all cases before the respective courts including but not limited to cases of first impression.” Died in House Judiciary Committee when legislature adjourned. Probably
Kansas HB 2087 Defines “foreign law,” “legal code” or “system” means any law, legal code or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies or other formal or informal tribunals. Provides “Any court, arbitration, tribunal or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any law, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the United States and Kansas constitutions.” Approved by full House 3/30/11. Died in Senate Committee on Judiciary when legislature adjourned. Probably
Maine HB 811 Provides “”foreign law, legal code or system” means any law, legal code or legal system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, that is applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies or other formal or informal tribunals…The primary factor that a court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator or other entity or person acting under the authority of state law must consider in granting comity to a decision rendered under a foreign law, legal code or legal system against a natural person in this State is whether the decision rendered either violated or would violate any right of the natural person in this State guaranteed by the Constitution of Maine or the United States Constitution or any statute or decision under those constitutions.” Rejected by Joint Committee on Judiciary 5/25/11. No
Michigan HB 4769 Defines “foreign law,” as “any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals.” Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States.” In House Committee on Judiciary. Probably
Michigan SB 701 Defines “foreign law,” as “any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals.” Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States.” In Senate Committee on Government Operations. Probably
Mississippi HB 301 Prohibits courts from enforcing a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States. Died in House Judiciary A Committee when legislature adjourned. No
Mississippi HB 525 Provides “”Foreign law” means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the states or territories of the United States…A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” Died in House Judiciary A Committee when legislature adjourned. No
Missouri HB 708 Provides any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision violates the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable if such court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the constitutions of this state and the United States. Approved by full House 4/20/11. Died on House Informal Calendar when legislature adjourned. No
Missouri HB 768 Defines “foreign law” as “any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the states or territories of the United States.” Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States.” Died in House Judiciary Committee when legislature adjourned. No
Missouri HJR 31 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides state courts “when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Missouri, the United States Code, federal regulations 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 section shall apply to all cases before the respective courts, including but not limited to cases of first impression.” Died in House Judiciary Committee when legislature adjourned. No
Missouri SB 308 Defines “”foreign law, legal code, or system” means any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals…Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any foreign law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States and Missouri constitutions.” Approved by Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee 4/28/11. Died on Senate floor when legislature adjourned. No
Nebraska LB 647 Declares a court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings on any foreign law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decisions the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Nebraska. Died in Senate Judiciary Committee when legislature adjourned. Probably
New Mexico SJR 18 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides “The courts provided for in this article, when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States constitution, the constitution of New Mexico, statutes of the United States and federal regulations adopted pursuant thereto, established common law, New Mexico statutes and state regulations adopted pursuant thereto and, if necessary, the law of another state of the United States, provided that the law of the other state does not include Sharia law. The courts shall not consider or apply a rule of comity to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures, international law, laws promulgated by foreign governments or national laws of foreign countries if the consideration or application of the foreign precepts or laws would violate the public policy of the state of New Mexico or reduce or impair the rights of any resident of the state of New Mexico existing under New Mexico statutes or common law governing child custody, rights of married persons, property rights, protection from domestic violence or any criminal law. The courts shall not consider or apply Sharia law. The provisions of this section shall apply to all cases before the respective courts, including, but not limited to, cases of first impression.” Died in Senate Rules Committee when legislature adjourned. No
New Jersey AB 3496 Provides that a foreign law may only be recognized by a court in New Jersey if it does not violate any right guaranteed by the Constitution of this State or of the United States of America. Carried over from 2011 session. In House Judiciary Committee. No
North Carolina HB 640 Declares “it to be the public policy of this State to protect its citizens from the application of foreign law that would result in the violation of a right of a natural person guaranteed by the North Carolina Constitution or the United States Constitution. The public policies expressed in this section shall apply only to actual or foreseeable violations of a constitutional right resulting from the application of the foreign law.” Died in House Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee C when legislature adjourned. Possibly
Oklahoma HB 1552 Provides any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any law, rule, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States and Oklahoma Constitutions. Approved by full House 3/17/11. Died in Senate Rules Committee when legislature adjourned. Probably
South Carolina HB 3490 Provides “As used in this section, the term “foreign law” means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in or by another jurisdiction outside of the United States or its territories…A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority may not enforce a foreign law if it would violate a constitutionally guaranteed right of this State or of the United States. The provisions of this section apply only to actual or foreseeable violations of the constitutional rights of a person caused by the application of the foreign law.” Died in House Judiciary Committee when legislature adjourned. Probably
South Carolina SB 444 Provides “As used in this section, the term ‘foreign law’ means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in or by another jurisdiction outside of the United States or its territories….A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority may not enforce a foreign law if it would violate a constitutionally guaranteed right of this State or of the United States. The provisions of this section apply only to actual or foreseeable violations of the constitutional rights of a person caused by the application of the foreign law.” Died in Senate Judiciary Committee when legislature adjourned. Probably
South Dakota HJR 1004 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides no South Dakota state court may apply international law, the law of any foreign nation, or any foreign religious or moral code with the force of law in the adjudication of any case under its jurisdiction. Tabled by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/17/11. No
South Dakota SB 201 Declares “foreign law, legal code, or system, means any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals…Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision is void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the constitutions of the United States and the State of South Dakota.” Deferred to 41st legislative day (i.e. killed) by Senate Commerce and Energy Committee 2/16/11. No
Texas HB 274 AS AMENDED: Provides “In this chapter, “foreign law” means a law, rule, or legal code of a jurisdiction outside of the states and territories of the United States…A ruling or decision of a court, arbitrator, or administrative adjudicator on a matter arising under the Family Code may not be based on a foreign law if the application of that law would violate a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the constitution of this state.” Approved as amended by full House 5/10/11. 4/18/11. Removed by Senate State Affairs Committee 5/23/11. No
Texas HB 911 AS AMENDED: Provides “In this chapter, “foreign law” means a law, rule, or legal code of a jurisdiction outside of the states and territories of the United States…A ruling or decision of a court, arbitrator, or administrative adjudicator on a matter arising under the Family Code may not be based on a foreign law if the application of that law would violate a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the constitution of this state.” Approved as amended by House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence 4/18/11. Died in House Calendars Committee when legislature adjourned. No
Texas HB 999 Declares “”foreign law” means a law, rule, or legal code of a jurisdiction outside of the states and territories of the United States…A ruling or decision of a court, arbitrator, or administrative adjudicator may not be based on a foreign law if the application of that law would violate a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the constitution of this state.” Died in House State Affairs Committee when legislature adjourned. No
Texas HB 1240 Declares “”foreign or international law or doctrine” means a law, rule, legal code, or principle of a jurisdiction outside of the states and territories of the United States, including international law, that is not codified or recognized by this state or the United States…A court, arbitrator, or administrative adjudicator may not base a ruling or decision on a foreign or international law or doctrine; or a prior ruling or decision that was based on a foreign or international law or doctrine.” Approved by House Select Committee on State Sovereignty 5/10/11. Died in House Calendars Committee when legislature adjourned. No
Texas HB 3027 Declares “”foreign law” means a law, rule, or legal code of a jurisdiction outside of the states and territories of the United States…A ruling or decision of a court, arbitrator, or administrative adjudicator may not be based on a foreign law if the application of that law would violate a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the constitution of this state.”. Died in House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence when legislature adjourned. No
Texas HJR 57 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides “A court of this state shall uphold the laws of the Constitution of the United States, this Constitution, federal laws, and laws of this state. A court of this state may not enforce, consider, or apply any religious or cultural law.” Died in House State Affairs Committee when legislature adjourned. No
Texas HB 79A (Special Session) AS AMENDED: Provides “In this chapter, “foreign law” means a law, rule, or legal code of a jurisdiction outside of the states and territories of the United States…A ruling or decision of a court, arbitrator, or administrative adjudicator on a matter arising under the Family Code may not be based on a foreign law if the application of that law would violate a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the constitution of this state.” Approved as amended by full House 6/22/11. Removed by Senate Jurisprudence Committee 6/27/11. No
West Virginia HB 3220 Provides “”foreign law, legal code or system” means any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals…It is the public policy of this state that the primary factor which a court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator or other entity or person acting under the authority of state law shall consider in granting comity to a decision rendered under any foreign law, legal code or system against a natural person in this state is whether the decision rendered either violated or would violate any right of the natural person in this state guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of West Virginia or the United States Constitution or any statute or decision under those Constitutions.” Died in House Judiciary Committee when legislature adjourned. Possibly
Wyoming HJR 8 (Constitutional Amendment) Prohibits court use of sharia law. Prohibits Wyoming courts from referencing law of other U.S. states if law of the other state does include sharia law. Requires Wyoming courts uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the constitution of the United States, the Wyoming constitution, the United States Code and federal regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, laws of this state, and established common law as specified by legislative enactment. Prohibits courts from considering the legal precepts of other nations or cultures including, without limitation, international law and Sharia law. Died in House Judiciary Committee when legislature adjourned. No

2010

Bill Provisions Status
Arizona HB 2379 Enacts the “Arizona Foreign Decisions Act” Declares the acceptance of Arizona into the Union was a “compact”. Declares “Congress has no authority to preempt state regulation of state courts.” Prohibits courts from implementing, referring or incorporating or using “a tenet of any body of religious sectarian law” and specifically includes sharia law, canon law, halacha and karma, but exempts decisions based on Anglo-American legal tradition, laws or case law from Great Britain prior enactment of the statute, or the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, “and the principles on which the United States was founded.” Prohibits use of any case law or statute from a non-U.S. jurisdiction or “foreign body”, including the United Nations. Decisions that make use of a body of religious sectarian law or foreign law declared void and usages declared to be grounds for impeachment. Declares these provisions apply to Federal courts sitting in diversity jurisdiction. Requires any court that construes this statute must do so in a way to confine the power of Congress and the federal judiciary. Died in House Judiciary Committee.
Arizona SB 1026 Enacts the “Arizona Foreign Decisions Act” Declares the acceptance of Arizona into the Union was a “compact”. Declares “Congress has no authority to preempt state regulation of state courts.” Prohibits courts from implementing, referring or incorporating or using “a tenet of any body of religious sectarian law” and specifically includes sharia law, canon law, halacha and karma, but exempts decisions based on Anglo-American legal tradition, laws or case law from Great Britain prior enactment of the statute, or the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, “and the principles on which the United States was founded.” Prohibits use of any case law or statute from a non-U.S. jurisdiction or “foreign body”, including the United Nations. Decisions that make use of a body of religious sectarian law or foreign law declared void and usages declared to be grounds for impeachment. Declares these provisions apply to Federal courts sitting in diversity jurisdiction. Requires any court that construes this statute must do so in a way to confine the power of Congress and the federal judiciary. Died in House Judiciary Committee.
Florida SB 1962 AMENDED: Directs courts to consider as a “primary factor” the preservation of a person’s constitutional rights, when interpreting, enforcing, or applying any foreign court decision, choice of foreign law contract provision, or choice of foreign venue or forum contract provision that violates any right guaranteed by the Florida Constitution or the U.S. Constitution. Provides that it is the public policy of the state that a court consider as a primary factor in granting comity to a decision rendered under any foreign law, legal code, or system against a natural person in Florida, whether the decision rendered violates or would violate any constitutional right of that person. Requires a court to deny a claim for forum non conveniens if the granting of such claim would likely violate the constitutional rights of the non-claimant. Provides an exception for application of the bill to corporations, partnerships, or other business associations and provides a severability clause. Approved by Senate Commerce Committee 4/7/10. Died in Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Idaho HCR 44 Declares “For any domestic issue, no court should consider or use as precedent any foreign or international law, regulation, or court decision.” Approved by full House 3/4/10. Approved by full Senate 3/26/10. Transmitted to Secretary of State for transmission to Congress, the President, and the other states.
Iowa HB 2313 Prohibits judges from using “judicial precedent, case law, penumbras, or international law as a basis for rulings.” Requires judges use only the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions and the Code of Iowa in making decisions. Permits use of the Federalist papers and other writings of the founding fathers, but only “if such source material is used in full context. Prohibits any court from reviewing the legislation. Deems any violation of the act grounds for impeachment. Died in House Judiciary Committee.
Louisiana HB 785 “Foreign law” means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the states or territories of the United States…A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States. Signed into law by Governor 6/29/10.
Louisiana SB 460 “Foreign law” means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the states or territories of the United States…A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States. Signed into law by Governor 7/2/10.
New Jersey AB 3496 Provides that a foreign law may only be recognized by a court in New Jersey if it does not violate any right guaranteed by the Constitution of this State or of the United States of America. Died in House Judiciary Committee. Carried over into 2011 session.
Oklahoma HJR 1056 (Constitutional Amendment) Prohibits the courts to “look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider Sharia Law or international law.” Requires courts adhere only to the U.S. & Oklahoma Constitutions, federal and state law and regulations, and where necessary the laws and regulations of another state. Approved by voters in November 2010 election.
South Carolina SB 1387 (Constitutional Amendment) Requires South Carolina Courts uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the South Carolina Constitution, the United States Code and federal regulations promulgated pursuant to it, and the South Carolina statutes and rules adopted and regulations promulgated pursuant to it, and in doing so, shall rely only on those sources, and if necessary for the determination of a particular case, the laws, rules, regulations, and cases of another state of the United States, in making judicial decisions. Prohibits courts from looking to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider Sharia Law, international law, the constitutions, laws, rules, regulations, and decisions of courts or tribunals of other nations, or conventions or treaties, whether or not the United States is a party. Died in Senate Judiciary Committee.
Tennessee HB 3768 Defines “law, legal code, or legal system” means a law, legal code, or legal system used or applied in any jurisdiction outside of Tennessee, including any foreign state, jurisdiction, country or territory of the United States…Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, and subject to provisions of superseding federal treaties, any otherwise enforceable contract which incorporates any substantive or procedural law, legal code or legal system of another state, foreign jurisdiction or foreign country that would violate rights and privileges granted under the United States or Tennessee Constitution is declared to be against public policy of this state and is unenforceable
in this state.
Signed into law by Governor 5/27/10.
Tennessee SB 3740 Defines “law, legal code, or legal system” means a law, legal code, or legal system used or applied in any jurisdiction outside of Tennessee, including any foreign state, jurisdiction, country or territory of the United States…Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, and subject to provisions of superseding federal treaties, any otherwise enforceable contract which incorporates any substantive or procedural law, legal code or legal system of another state, foreign jurisdiction or foreign country that would violate rights and privileges granted under the United States or Tennessee Constitution is declared to be against public policy of this state and is unenforceable
in this state.
Replaced by HB 3768.
Utah HB 296 Requires Utah courts to apply United States and Utah law in cases and controversies before them unless the foreign law sought to be applied would provide protection equal to or stronger than specific elements of United States and Utah law. Approved by House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee 2/25/10. Died on House floor.

21 thoughts on “Bans on court use of sharia/international law: list of all bills since 2010, new 2011 Michigan bill, first 2012 bill prefiled

  1. Pingback: Bans on court use of sharia/international law: ABA House of Delegates opposes “blanket prohibitions”, state legislatures out of session » Gavel to Gavel

  2. Pingback: Bans on court use of sharia/international law: Pennsylvania bill introduced » Gavel to Gavel

  3. is there an update to this? I am doing a project on anti-sharia bills in America and this site has been extremely helpful.

  4. Pingback: Bans on court use of sharia/international law: 33 bills in 20 states to start 2012; review of all efforts since 2010 » Gavel to Gavel

  5. Banning “Foreign Law” from US courts is a great idea! We can start with English Law, Spanish Law and French Law…oops! there is no US law left! The ONLY REAL “American Law” are the laws of the Native Americans.

    Jews (Beth Din) and Christians (Canon Law) have been using their faith laws for centuries, in matters of inheritance and other aspects of family laws, Muslim requests to use Shariah laws is absoilutely no different. Yet, hate-mongers have managed to convince sincere but ignorant Americans that Shariah laws are somehow alien and contrary to the US constitution.
    Anyone wishing to contradict me should first study up on what “Shariah Law” really is and how it matches with Beth Din and Canon Law.

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  8. Pingback: WeMustChange » Blog Archive » Muslim Group Wants To Teach You About Sharia Law

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  10. Pingback: Sharia Law Campaign Begins As Muslim Group Fights Bans | Screw Cable

  11. Pingback: Sharia Law Campaign Begins As Muslim Group Fights Bans | 1230 AM KQUE – Houston

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  13. Pingback: Moneymentos » Blog Archive » Sharia Law Campaign Begins As Muslim Group Fights Bans » Moneymentos

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  16. Pingback: Sharia Law Campaign Begins As Muslim Group Fights Bans « Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)

  17. Pingback: Tariq Ramadan: Shariah Law and U.S. Constitution Go Hand-In-Hand | Defending Religious Freedom

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  19. Pingback: Sharia Law Campaign Begins As Muslim Group Fights Bans | Saving Our FutureSharia Law Campaign Begins As Muslim Group Fights Bans » Saving Our Future

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