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Oklahoma Senate Passes Legislation to Forbid Use of Foreign or Religious Law

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On Monday, the Oklahoma State Senate passed legislation that would prevent the use of religious or foreign laws in American courts.

Considered by some to be the "anti-Sharia" bill, House Bill 1060 passed the Oklahoma Senate on a vote of 40-3. An amendment to the bill was added. That amendment must be approved by the bill's author before going to the desk of the Oklahoma governor.

The original bill reads "Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on foreign law that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the U.S. and Oklahoma Constitutions."

In 2010 in Oklahoma, State Question 755 which said that courts could not consider "international or Islamic law when deciding cases," passed with 70 percent of the vote. A federal judge ruled the measure unconstitutional. The measure was struck down because of a specific reference to Sharia law.

Between 2010 and 2012, lawmakers in 32 states introduced similar legislation. In addition to Oklahoma measures have passed in Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota and Tennessee.

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