Constitutional Law

Fed'l Judge Puts Hold on Okla. Amendment Banning State-Court Use of Shariah Law

A federal judge in Oklahoma today issued a permanent injunction putting a hold on a new ban on the use of Shariah law in the state’s courts, until it can be determined whether the voter-approved state constitutional amendment that implements the ban violates the U.S. Constitution in multiple ways.

“While the public has an interest in the will of the voters being carried out,” wrote U.S. District Judge Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, “the court finds that the public has a more profound and long-term interest in upholding an individual’s constitutional rights,” reports CNN.

The New York Times (reg. req.) and Wall Street Journal Law Blog also have stories.

Courts commonly look to the law of other jurisdictions as persuasive authority when adjudicating matters that are not squarely addressed by the jurisdiction’s own laws. Some American and British courts have also been asked to enforce contracts concerning the marriages of Muslims.

Related coverage: “Profs Question Oklahoma’s Voter-Approved Ban on Shariah and International Law” (Sept. 2008): “Islamic Court Rulings are Enforceable in the United Kingdom” (July 2009): “Non-Muslims Turn to Shariah Courts in UK to Resolve Civil Disputes” (Nov. 2007): “Ohio Dowry Ruling is Appealed; Important Muslim Marriage Issue”

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