This post has been updated. Click here.
The last several weeks in the examination bans on court use of sharia/international law have seen something new: while such bans have been voted down in committee before for t he first time authors are starting to withdraw the bills outright.
Minnesota’s SB 2281 was withdrawn the day it was introduced. According to WCCO TV:
Before the bill was even introduced, the author, Republican Dave Thompson pulled it. “It was never my intent to introduce legislation that was being targeted to any one group,” said Thompson.
The second bill was New Jersey’s AB 919 (introduced in the 2010/2011 session as AB 3496). Introduced January 10 of this year, the bill was withdrawn last week. The NJ Assembly Republicans blog on March 13 quotes the bill’s author (GOP Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi):
In the climate of what has been transpiring in the Muslim community in New Jersey, they were concerned it would further, in their view, portray Muslims in a negative light. After sitting and listening to their concerns, I agreed to withdraw it.
The legislature’s website, however, does not yet show the bill has having been formally withdrawn. (No direct link to bill status page, follow this link and search for bill AB 919).
The other activity was in Kansas. SB 79, as originally introduced, had nothing to do with international law or sharia. Instead, it made a modification to an existing state program that helped courts recover fees/fines owed. That bill passed the Senate unanimously.
Yesterday (March 19) the House changed the bill entirely. The House substitute for SB 79 simply replicates the language of HB 2087, which the House had passed in 2011 and the Senate had declined to advance.
Readers may recognize this tactic on the part of the Kansas House. When the House approved bills to end merit selection for the state’s Court of Appeals, bills the Senate did not take up, the House started to add provisions to unrelated bills (see here, here, and here). The difference here is that rather than tacking on the new provision to the existing bill, this effort simply replaces the text of the bill entirely.
Full roster of
41 bills introduced and their statuses after the jump.
» Read more: Bans on court use of sharia/international law: Bills withdrawn in Minnesota and New Jersey, Kansas House attaches ban to unrelated bill