Friday, March 2, 2012

Please God, No.

This is so mind-numbingly stupid it pains me to excerpt it:
A measure to ban the use of foreign laws in domestic courtrooms is progressing in Florida's statehouse, one of dozens of similar efforts across the country that critics call an unwarranted campaign driven by fear of Muslims.
Forty such bills are being pursued in 24 states, according to a tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures, a movement opponents call a response to a made-up threat of Shariah law, the Islamic legal code that covers many areas of life. Backers of the bills say they fill a glaring hole in legal protections for Americans.

"There have been all sorts of wild accusations about what this bill does," said Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, who sponsored the Senate bill in Florida. "This is very clear, very simple: In American courts we need American laws and no other."

The Florida measure passed the House on Thursday 92-24. It awaits a full vote in the Senate.

If passed, Florida would join three other states — Louisiana, Arizona and Tennessee — in approving legislation curtailing the use of foreign laws.
 "American laws"?

Yeah, like the Magna Carta, or better yet -- the Bible (wasn't Charlton Heston a Real American when he brought down those ten laws?).

I think the basic problem is that the "Sharia law" controversy doesn't really exist -- I know of no trend where federal or state courts are deferring to Muslim law in derogation of operative state or federal law.

Like voter fraud and Newt Gingrich, it's basically a scare tactic:
If Sharia opponents can’t name a single instance of Islamic law being used in the state courts, what exactly is the point of banning it — beyond vague and unsubstantiated fears?
On the other hand, there isn’t exactly a compelling counter-argument in favor of Sharia law. The U.S. courts should avoid applications of religious law in general. And Sharia has a particularly horrific reputation, since it’s used to justify the state-sanctioned oppression of women, the silencing of journalists and human rights workers, religious persecution, and vicious executions across the Islamic world.

But the good news for Sharia law opponents is that these things are already illegal in the United States, and Sharia is rarely applied to anything in this country beyond executions of wills and personal financing matters. Unless that changes, attempts to “ban” it are based on little more than hysteria and conspiracy theories.
Although it's obvious the FL bill's sponsors are not targeting English common law or the French civil code, in light of this recent 10th Circuit opinion (on Oklahoma's version), up in Tally they are careful to not mention Sharia law specifically by name -- just the usual dog whistles for the well-trained base this bill is intended to satiate.

All of this is yet another compelling argument to retain Justices Pariente, Lewis, and Quince -- and I personally want to commend Raoul Cantero for putting a bipartisan face on the fundraising event Monday, which btw was well-attended with the cream of the crop in South Florida's legal community all supporting their retention.

We will need good strong judges to resist these sorts of nativist impulses.

(RIP Judge Maxine Cohen Lando.)


Anonymous said...

Perhaps not....

Anonymous said...

Orthodox Jews will have a problem if it passes.

Godwhacker said...

Next you're going to tell us that the boogie man isn't real.

He is. I saw him. KC and the Sunshine Band.

South Florida Lawyers said...

From what I can tell, the Zombie Muhammed incident has nothing to do with a judge applying Sharia law.

Rumpole said...

Why just the other day I got a jury instruction from the Koran. And before that a judge granted a motion to dIsmiss when I cited a Saudi Court's opinion in a Dv case ( the saudi court held a man could beat his wife after sunset). This bill will sink my practice. I've been riding the Sharia gravy train for years now. Does that surprise anyone?

Anonymous said...

yet another example of neanderthal-land (or the grand oblivious party)...take your pick

mikal said...

This won't be a problem for orthodox Yidden as they have had their own courts for millenia, and still do, to resolve issues (most of the time) strictly related to Judaism. Business disputes between orthodox Jews can be settled in the Beit Din (religious courts) by agreement, as can some family law disputes.

However, the Orthodox Jews know and understand (maybe grudgingly) that the civil and criminal courts of the United States or wherever they reside, have the final say on issues.

Anonymous said...

Mag Goodman cites the Stones; bunch of foreigners!

Anonymous said...

what does this do to Fla Stat 2.01, adopting the common law of England, and all the case law based on it since 1829?

Anne Stuart said...

Another pointless law drafted by narrow-minded people. And I am not surprised.