Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain, was the first state to pass legislation (H.R.1804) to restrict the activities of illegal aliens by making it a felony for U.S. citizens to knowingly provide shelter, transportation or employment to illegal immigrants.
That was in 2007. This year, Oklahoma is prepared to be the first state to ban Sharia law and prohibit state judges from relying upon Islamic law when deciding any sort of case. ABC reports that "the ban is a cornerstone of a "Save our State" amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that was recently approved by the Legislature." The amendment goes before the voters in November when passage is expected.
Republican State Rep. Rex Duncan says the measure is a "preemptive strike" to prevent Islamic law from gaining a foothold in Oklahoma and by extension, the United States. Oklahoma, pop. 3.7 million, has a small Muslim population estimated at 30,000 which may seem to be an over reaction to a non-existent problem. However,
Sharia has gained a toehold in some western countries, notably Great Britain, where five sharia courts have been established to settle certain disputes among Muslims, with the government's blessing.Duncan, state House Judiciary Committee chair, said, "I see this in the future somewhere in America. It's not an imminent threat in Oklahoma yet, but it's a storm on the horizon in other states."
The proposed Oklahoma amendment is aimed, in part, at "cases of first impression," legal disputes in which there is no law or precedent to resolve the matter at hand.
In such cases, judges might look to laws or rulings in other jurisdictions for guidance. The proposed amendment would block judges in Oklahoma courts from drawing on sharia, or the laws of other nations, in such decisions.
The amendment also is a response to what some conservatives see as a pernicious trend -- cases of liberal judges mostly notably Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, using foreign laws to shape their opinions in U.S. cases.
"It should not matter what France might do, what Great Britain might do, or what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia might do," Duncan said. "Court decisions ought to be based on federal law, or state law."
Fordham University School of Law in New York City professor Jim Cohen says he is not aware of a case involving sharia law. Nevertheless, he doubts the constitutionality of the amendment explaining:
"Our federal system and our state system is in part governed by the concept of separation of powers. It's far from clear that the Oklahoma legislature can restrict what a separate branch of government can consider in terms of doing its job – in this case, deciding cases."Oddly, Cohen offers a further defense of his assertion,
"I think this is a political statement against Muslims and, inferentially, in support of United States values."Well, DUH! Of course, it's in support of United States values against the values of 7th century Muslim barbarians and 21st century weak-kneed Progressives. Every country and nation is expected (except America) to defend themselves and their way of life against foreign invaders and just plain stupid ideas, like Islam, sharia, and Progressivism. The first time Prof. Cohen has stones thrown at him or a Muslim mob flogs his daughter for wearing make-up, he might change his mind about Oklahoma's proposed amendment and American values.
Now, about banning Islam...
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.