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Is Oklahoma Sharia Ban Constitutional?

Is Oklahoma Sharia Ban Constitutional?


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pbrauer

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Is Oklahoma Sharia Ban Constitutional?

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No, It's against the First Amendment of our Constitution
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CAIR Member Sues Oklahoma Over Sharia Ban | TPMMuckraker


Days after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to prohibit its courts from considering Sharia or international law, CAIR's Oklahoma director filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction against the law.

Muneer Awad, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Oklahoma chapter, filed suit against the Oklahoma Board of Elections in federal court on Thursday. In the suit, he alleges the law both violates the First Amendment and harms his family's ability to carry out his will after he dies.
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Harry Guerrilla

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I think Colbert's comments pretty much sum it up:

This is great news - just because something doesn't exist doesn't mean you shouldn't ban it. That's why I have long fought for ballot measures to ban cat pilots, baby curling, and man-futon marriage. Besides, you can't be too careful, because there are 15,000 Muslims in Oklahoma - a full 4/10 of 1% of their population. Now sure, Oklahoma has a larger population of cows, but I say we keep an eye on them too - just in case any of them are practicing...Mooslims.
 

CriticalThought

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Honestly, the right wing southerners has been reduced to voting on nationalist policies on impulse. In Oklahoma, if you put up a vote forbidding the practice of Islam, it would pass. Any rights that aren't white, Christian, or domestic are pretty much up for vote at this point.
 

FederalRepublic

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I don't know whether it's constitutional without looking at the law, but the idea of it sounds pretty stupid.
 

Kandahar

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I don't know enough about the details of Oklahoma's law to really have an informed opinion, but it sounds like this guy is suing because he wants his property to be divided in accordance with Sharia law. If the Oklahoma law prohibits him from doing that, then I would say yes, it is a violation of his 1st Amendment rights. A will is a legal contract, so if the courts refuse to consider Sharia law even though that is this guy's clearly expressed intent, then it certainly sounds to me like his rights are being violated.

But as I said, I don't know all the details of Oklahoma's law. I was under the impression that all it did was ban judges from citing sharia law in their decisions. If that's the case, it's probably passes constitutional muster. Stupid, yes. But nevertheless constitutional.
 

molten_dragon

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I don't know enough about the details of Oklahoma's law to really have an informed opinion, but it sounds like this guy is suing because he wants his property to be divided in accordance with Sharia law. If the Oklahoma law prohibits him from doing that, then I would say yes, it is a violation of his 1st Amendment rights. A will is a legal contract, so if the courts refuse to consider Sharia law even though that is this guy's clearly expressed intent, then it certainly sounds to me like his rights are being violated.
From reading the article, I think all it prevents him from doing is writing in his will "I want my possessions divided up according to sharia law". He can still have them divided up that way, he just has to write down what that explicitly means, and not mention sharia law.

The law seems very stupid to me. It's pretty common for judges to look at laws outside the US as something to compare to when making decisions. Not allowing them to do so seems to not serve much of a purpose (other than pandering to islamaphobes). On the face of it, it does seem constitutional though.
 

Kandahar

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From reading the article, I think all it prevents him from doing is writing in his will "I want my possessions divided up according to sharia law". He can still have them divided up that way, he just has to write down what that explicitly means, and not mention sharia law.
Yeah but that seems unconstitutional. If it's his property, his will, and the court can figure out his clear intent - but doesn't act on it because he explicitly says "in accordance with the guidance contained in the prophetic teachings of Islam" instead of beating around the bush - I would think that that would be a law abridging on his freedom of religion.
 

obvious Child

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It's unconstitutional for another reason. By explicitly forbidding US state courts from applying US signed treaties, it renders the Federal Government's sole right to foreign relations moot and explicitly forces US state courts to ignore US federal law. States do not have the right to conduct legislation on foreign trade. This bill contradicts the Constitution.

http://www.debatepolitics.com/news-...using-international-law-3.html#post1059083399
 

jamesrage

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Honestly, the right wing southerners has been reduced to voting on nationalist policies on impulse. In Oklahoma, if you put up a vote forbidding the practice of Islam, it would pass. Any rights that aren't white, Christian, or domestic are pretty much up for vote at this point.
Not because the belief that our judges should only use our laws and base their decisions only on our laws to be the reason why people voted for this law? ITs because theys hates them thar musalems and watch Hee haw and stuf ...huh?
 
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jamesrage

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Is Oklahoma Sharia Ban Constitutional?

Yes
No, It's against the First Amendment of our Constitution
Other

CAIR Member Sues Oklahoma Over Sharia Ban | TPMMuckraker
No it does not for the simple fact it bans judges from citing sharia law and there is also the fact the voters are on congress..

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
 

TacticalEvilDan

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It's unconstitutional for another reason. By explicitly forbidding US state courts from applying US signed treaties, it renders the Federal Government's sole right to foreign relations moot and explicitly forces US state courts to ignore US federal law. States do not have the right to conduct legislation on foreign trade. This bill contradicts the Constitution.
I was wondering if someone was going to beat me to it. :)
 

TacticalEvilDan

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Not because the belief that our judges should only use our laws and base their decisions only on our laws to be the reason why people voted for this law? ITs because theys hates them thar musalems and watch Hee haw and stuf ...huh?
You're absolutely right, this vote could have been the result of a complete and total ignorance of the contents of the Constitution, and had nothing whatsoever to do with nationalist impulses or Islamophobia.
 

TacticalEvilDan

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No it does not for the simple fact it bans judges from citing sharia law and there is also the fact the voters are on congress..

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Bull**** arguments like this are one of the biggest reasons the Federalists had a problem with the Bill of Rights.
 

Harshaw

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It's unconstitutional for another reason. By explicitly forbidding US state courts from applying US signed treaties, it renders the Federal Government's sole right to foreign relations moot and explicitly forces US state courts to ignore US federal law. States do not have the right to conduct legislation on foreign trade. This bill contradicts the Constitution.

http://www.debatepolitics.com/news-...using-international-law-3.html#post1059083399
No, because it specifically includes law "as provided in the United States Constitution . . . the United States Code." Any treaty would fall under that.

https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/questions/755.pdf?9,4

What this is NOT in any way is a violation of the First Amendment.
 

Kandahar

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No it does not for the simple fact it bans judges from citing sharia law and there is also the fact the voters are on congress..

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
I guess it depends how the law is worded. If it just bans judges from CITING sharia law, that's probably constitutional. But that isn't what this lawsuit alleges. If the law denies the plaintiff the ability to specify in his will that his property be divided according to sharia, that DOES infringe on his religious liberty IMO.

As for the "Congress shall make no law..." passage you cited: the 14th amendment holds the states to the same standard.
 

Goobieman

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Is Oklahoma Sharia Ban Constitutional?
The law only codifies the relevant section of the 1st amendment - how can that be unconstitutional?
:shrug;
 

Harshaw

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I guess it depends how the law is worded. If it just bans judges from CITING sharia law, that's probably constitutional. But that isn't what this lawsuit alleges. If the law denies the plaintiff the ability to specify in his will that his property be divided according to sharia, that DOES infringe on his religious liberty IMO.

As for the "Congress shall make no law..." passage you cited: the 14th amendment holds the states to the same standard.
Well, for one thing, I think he's wrong -- probate law requires certain things of a will for it to be valid, and as long as those things are satisfied, it doesn't really matter what else is in the will. So this wouldn't prevent his will from being executed, so long as the other requirements are in place.

But if those things aren't satisfied, if his will merely gives a list of Koran verses with the expectation that they form the authority for the will, then it's an invalid will regardless -- just as it would be if it were to say "I wish this will to be executed according to the laws of Italy." Wouldn't happen.

This constitutional provision would not affect any of that.
 

TacticalEvilDan

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The law only codifies the relevant section of the 1st amendment - how can that be unconstitutional?
:shrug;
Um, no, it doesn't do only that:

Section 1 said:
"... The Courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law. ..."
 

Goobieman

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Um, no, it doesn't do only that:
I was speaking to the prohibition agianst the consideration of Sharia law, which is, apparently, the primary point of contention.
 

VanceMack

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I don't know enough about the details of Oklahoma's law to really have an informed opinion, but it sounds like this guy is suing because he wants his property to be divided in accordance with Sharia law. If the Oklahoma law prohibits him from doing that, then I would say yes, it is a violation of his 1st Amendment rights. A will is a legal contract, so if the courts refuse to consider Sharia law even though that is this guy's clearly expressed intent, then it certainly sounds to me like his rights are being violated.

But as I said, I don't know all the details of Oklahoma's law. I was under the impression that all it did was ban judges from citing sharia law in their decisions. If that's the case, it's probably passes constitutional muster. Stupid, yes. But nevertheless constitutional.
If I'm reading your response correctly, you believe that his religous beliefs and practice should supercede the law of the land as defined by the constitution of the state and US government. Seriously???
 

TacticalEvilDan

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I was speaking to the prohibition agianst the consideration of Sharia law, which is, apparently, the primary point of contention.
Seeing as how "Sharia law" as it exists in the United States is contract law, this amendment does not only codify the relevant section of the Constitution.

That aside, such an argument is asinine -- the Constitution doesn't require codification.
 

TacticalEvilDan

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If I'm reading your response correctly, you believe that his religous beliefs and practice should supercede the law of the land as defined by the constitution of the state and US government. Seriously???
Uh, no.

Wanting your stuff to be distributed / disposed of after you die in accordance with a specific religious tradition isn't putting that religious tradition above the law. It is practicing that religious tradition within the bounds of the law.
 
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