Lawfuel.com – Attempts to ban Sharia law have been foiled in a federal appeals court decision that would have permitted Oklahoma to be the first state in the Union to ban Sharia law.
An Oklahoma lawsuit was filed by a litigant with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which claimed a voter approved amendment to the board of CAIR violated the Constitution, which specifically stated that “it forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.”
Sharia law, in broad terms, is a body of law based on Islam and its central religious text, the Quran.
“This is an important reminder that the Constitution is the last line of defense against a rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry in our society, and we are pleased that the appeals court recognized that fact,” Litigant Muneer Awad said in a statement. “We are also hopeful that this decision serves as a reminder to politicians wishing to score political points through fear-mongering and bigotry.”
Today’s ruling upheld a decision by the lower court striking down the Save Our State amendment, which would have also forbidden judges from using international laws as a basis for decisions.
The Oklahoma court was tasked with having to uphold a federal district judge’s injunction preventing the state from even certifying the results of the 2010 referendum in which over 70 percent of the Sooner electorate voted for a constitutional amendment forbidding state courts to “consider…Sharia law” in their deliberations. That’s a high procedural bar but, in the judges’ view, the injunction sailed over with ease.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the federal district court did not abuse discretion by barring the amendment. “Because Mr. Awad has at least one justiciable claim and because the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting the preliminary injunction, we affirm,” today’s findings by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals stated.
U.S District Court Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange blocked the measure in November 2010, ruling that any harm that would result from a delay in certifying the election results is “minimized” because the defendants were “not aware of any situation where Sharia Law has been applied in an Oklahoma court.”
Judge Miles-LaGrange said the challengers were likely to succeed on the merits of their case going forward.
Its proponents today vowed to fight the injunction.