Bans on court use of sharia/international law: heavily modified bills introduced in 2013, exempts contracts, Native American tribes, avoids using word “sharia”

February 13th, 2013 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

This year’s batch of bans of sharia/international law use by state courts looks very different than those of the past several years. After criticism that a) past versions would effectively cripple businesses who have to sign international contracts and b) that bans on references to the law and court decisions of other nations would make the judicial determinations of tribal courts in the U.S. enforceable, most such bills have been completely rewritten. Specifically, most now specify the prohibition on the use of foreign law/sharia

  • applies only to a particular case type (such as family law or domestic relations)
  • does not infringe on the right to contract
  • does not apply to not apply to a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, etc.
  • does not apply to recognition or use of tribal court decisions in state courts
  • does not apply to ecclesiastical matters within a denomination

Even with these modifications, as in the past, most such bills are failing to advance in the legislatures.

List of bills below the fold

Bill
Does not affect right to contract freely/contract provisions
Does not apply to corporations
Does not apply to tribal court decisions
Does not apply to ecclesiastical matters/religious orgs
Other items
Status
X
X
Full faith and credit with other states suspended if they use international law
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
Full faith and credit with other states suspended if they use international law
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
X
X
Limited to Family law. Does not apply to use of English common law.
Approved by Judiciary Committee’s Civil Justice Subcommittee 2/7/13.
X
X
X
X
Limited to Family law. Does not apply to use of English common law.
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
X
X
In House Judiciary Committee.
X
In Senate Rules Committee.
X
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
In House Judiciary Committee.
X
X
In Senate (no committee).
X
Specifically uses word “sharia” Died in House Judiciary A Committee.
X
X
X
Died in House Judiciary A Committee.
X
Died in House Judiciary A Committee.
X
X
Died in Senate Judiciary A Committee.
X
X
X
X
Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/6/13.
X
In House States’ Rights Committee.
X
X
In House Rules Committee.
X
X
X
In House Rules Committee.
X
X
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
X
X
X
Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/12/13.
X
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
X
In Senate Judiciary Committee.
In House Judiciary Committee.
X
X
Limited to family law (divorce, marriage, parent-child relationship)
In House Judiciary Committee.
In House (no committee).
X
X
Limited to family law (divorce, marriage, parent-child relationship)
In Senate State Affairs Committee.
X
X
In House Judiciary Committee.
Does not apply to use of English common law, if enacted
Killed by full House 1/24/13.
Does not apply to use of English common law, if enacted
Died in House Judiciary Committee.
Limited to Domestic Relations (marriage, divorce, custody, visitation, support, adoption)
Withdrawn at sponsor’s request.

10 comments

  1. CCC says:

    This is not fully visible It is partially cut off.

  2. Bill Raftery says:

    Thanks CCC. Should be fixed now.

  3. Jeff Gilman says:

    Checking the first example, no mention is made of Sharia, so the title of this chicken little article is misleading. Furthermore, sharia law belongs in countries that adopt it, and no state in the USA should apply foreign law to US citizens inside the USA.

  4. Bill Raftery says:

    Jeff:

    1) The first example does not mention sharia, but I note the bills that specifically do use the word. Moreover, since the federal courts have ruled specifically targeting sharia violates the First Amendment (as when Oklahoma did it in 2010) legislatures have avoided using the word in the bill text, yet the committee and other hearings make clear that is what they are targeting.

    2) I’m not sure what you mean by “chicken little article”. I do not recall saying the sky is falling, or making any judgement, only that these bills are being introduced and their current status.

  5. Saba Ahmed says:

    Inshallah they will all be defeated. Thank you for compiling the list.

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