The Guarantee Clause: Congress’ Duty to Oppose Theocracy in the United States

082411_koran-constitution-lgBy Robert M. Petrusak:

[Editor’s note: New Gingrich has called for a Federal ban on Sharia law in America.]

Theocracy is inherently oppressive and contrary to America’s core values. It regards God as the sovereign and source of law. It therefore places the coercive power of the state–including interpretation and enforcement of law–in the hands of believers. It excludes non-believers from the body politic and brings them suffering. In total contrast, the Declaration of Independence regards God not as a source of coercive power, but as a guarantor of inalienable rights including liberty and equality. The Declaration states that government derives its sovereign authority or “just powers” not from God, but “from the consent of the governed.” This concept of popular sovereignty is reflected not only in the preamble of the Constitution, but also in the “Guarantee Clause” of Article IV, Section 4 which obligates the federal government to preserve a republican form of government in every state. The Constitution also precludes theocracy through the First Amendment’s ban on laws respecting establishments of religion or prohibiting “free exercise” of religious beliefs.

Political Islam or “Islamism” is theocratic. It may be defined as a belief that Islam should control society and politics, not simply personal religious life. Accordingly to the eminent scholar Bernard Lewis, the ideal Islamic polity recognizes God as sole sovereign and law-giver and assigns believers the task of spreading His revelation until the entire world accepts it. This is to be achieved by extending the authority and membership of the community that follows God’s law, the Shariah, which deals with the acquisition and exercise of power and the duties of ruler and subject. [1] Accordingly, Shariah is not simply a prescription for exercising personal belief through activity such as prayer and diet. It is a system of laws that affects the conduct of both believers and non- believers in Islamic theocracies. More ominously, expansion of the community that regards God as sovereign suggests contraction and disempowerment of the community which does not.

Political Islam therefore challenges the United States Constitution, particularly its embrace of liberty, equality, and popular sovereignty. There is concern that this challenge includes not only violent terrorism but an ideological struggle against non-Islamic courts and legal systems and the principle that the people, not God, are the source of political and legal authority .There is similarly concern that Islamists seek to establish “functionally Islamic governments” in every nation [2] and that toward this end, they will create divisive alternative communities by insinuating Islamic rules of conduct for the temporal world into courts and other institutions. There is even concern that Islamism will limit traditional free speech through application of its restrictions on defamation of religion or blasphemy. [3]

Such concerns have resulted in “anti-shariah legislation” in various states and subsequent court battles over whether such laws violate the constitutional rights of Muslims. However, such concerns raise issues of national importance because efforts to make public institutions Shariah-compliant may violate not only the First Amendment’s provisions on religion or free speech but also the Fourteenth Amendment and Article VI of the Constitution. The former guarantees due process and equal protection; the latter proclaims the supremacy of federal statutes, treaties and constitutional provisions. Moreover, Article IV, Section 4 creates an affirmative federal obligation to guarantee a non-theocratic, “Republican Form of Government” in every state.

The very essence of republican government is the belief that sovereignty rests with the people. [4]. Our Constitution is derived exclusively from the people and alterable only by them through elected representatives. Similarly, elected representatives and elected or duly-appointed judges, not religious leaders, enact and interpret our statutory law. [5] These principles of popular sovereignty support the Article IV guarantee of republican government and are related to the concept of equality. Thus, the guarantee clause would be invoked in the struggle against slavery and in the post-Civil War struggle to include freed slaves in the body politic. [6] In this regard, the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection evolved from our concept of republican government, [7] and a state that denies this fundamental right similarly violates Article IV, Section 4. The introduction into American courts, of laws or legal principles derived from a sovereign God or religious texts cannot be tolerated and the federal government has a clear responsibility to keep theocracy out of state courts and other public institutions.

Read more at Right Side News

How Should We Treat American Jihadists?

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It is not possible to wage an effective war against an international terror network while simultaneously foreclosing the possibility that American traitors will be killed in military operations.

By Andrew C. McCarthy:

If a plane full of 200 American citizens is hijacked by foreign jihadists, the law does not tell us whether the president should shoot down the plane or let it be plowed into a skyscraper and kill 3,000 American citizens. It is the kind of excruciating decision that war makes necessary. Legal niceties do not tell us how to resolve it.

That is the problem with our debate over the treatment of U.S. nationals who join the enemy’s forces in wartime — most urgently, over the targeted killing of our fellow citizens. We want the legal answer. But the legal answer is not going to help us. Under the Constitution, Americans who join the enemy may lawfully be treated like the enemy, which includes being attacked with lethal force. That, however, tells us only the outer limits of what is permissible. It does not tell us what we need to know: What should we do?

The government’s war powers must be boundless, at least in theory. We must be able to marshal all our might to repel any conceivable existential threat. Yet the Constitution, the sole legitimate source of the government’s power to levy war, is, quintessentially, the citizen’s protection against aggression by that same government. Thus, the tension between government’s war powers and the citizen’s fundamental rights is a conundrum. It simply cannot be resolved with finality.

Neither side of our debate is satisfied with that. We want fixed rules. But fixed rules work only if they answer every conceivable hypothetical. So the debate lurches inexorably to worst-case scenarios.

Read more at National Review

 Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and the executive director of the Philadelphia Freedom Center. He is the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, which is published by Encounter Books.

See also:

Report: Majority of Convicted Terrorists in U.S. Are American Citizens (dailybeast.com)

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2190907262001/report-al-qaeda-still-thriving-inside-us?intcmp=related?playlist_id=922779230001

Jacksonville City Council Could “Kill the Human Rights Controversy”

City_council_meeting_pic-630x286by Randy McDaniels:

Mayor Alvin Brown’s nomination of Parvez Ahmed, former National Chairman of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) for a second term on the Human Rights Commission has the City Council and its citizens divided on the issue.

Parvez Ahmed

Parvez Ahmed

The 2010 Jacksonville City Council had an opportunity to “Kill the Controversy” surrounding Parvez Ahmed dead in its tracks.  That Council received Information from Former Muslims United, which if properly acted upon would have answered any question about the suitability of Parvez Ahmed to sit on a Human Rights body and done so in a manner which would have reasonably appealed to the sensibilities of those on both sides of this nomination.

In 2009, Former Muslims United (FMU) sent a “Pledge for Religious Freedom” to approximately (46) Florida Mosques, Islamic Centers, and other recognized Islamic leaders to include Parvez Ahmed.  The letter cites authoritative Islamic Law or SHARIA from (8) renowned sources to include (3) Islamic legal bodies within North America, and all call for capital punishment for those who commit apostasy or treason by leaving the nation of Islam.

Note:  Since Sharia governs all aspects of the nation of Islam, it is not really a religious legal code, but in fact a political system.  Political Islam or Sharia, governs not only religion, but all aspects of Islamic life to include social, economic, political, military, and legal matters…many of which address those outside the faith of Islam irrespective of their personal rights or beliefs.

The full “Pledge for Religious Freedom” which can be viewed at the bottom of this article, finishes with a request for leaders in the Islamic community to sign a pledge in affirmation of basic Human Rights:

To support the civil rights of former Muslims, also known as apostates from Islam, I sign “The Muslim Pledge for Religious Freedom and Safety from Harm for Former Muslims”:

I renounce, repudiate and oppose any physical intimidation, or worldly and corporal punishment, of apostates from Islam, in whatever way that punishment may be determined or carried out by myself or any other Muslim including the family of the apostate, community, Mosque leaders, Shariah court or judge, and Muslim government or regime.

 _______________________________

Signed By

 The authoritative Islamic laws (Sharia) cited, not only violate the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness cherished by all Americans who recognize the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, but they also violate the right to Freedom of Religion guaranteed under 1st  Amendment.

More problematic than his refusal to sign the “Pledge of Religious Freedom” is the fact CAIR members whom Parvez Ahmed worked with for years, held and currently hold leadership positions on leading Islamic legal bodies in North America, such as the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), which have placed their seal of approval on the “Reliance of the Traveller”, the only official English/Arabic Translation of SHARIA, which sanctions the killing of apostates and is sourced in the Pledge.

Additionally, CAIR’s Co-founder Nihad Awad, and CAIR National Board Members Muzzamil Siddiqi and Jamal Badawi sit on the Shura Council of North America, which is tasked with overseeing the implementation of Sharia law and guiding the work of the Muslim Brotherhood inside the United States.  CAIR boldly honored the founder of (IIIT) Jamal Barzinji with a lifetime achievement award in September of 2012, which suggest CAIR continues to support Sharia and Muslim Brotherhood.

The Shura concept of democracy is quite different than western concepts of democracy in that a literal translation of “rule of the people” cannot occur within Islam, because all sovereignty belongs to ALLAH, meaning Sharia not the U.S. Constitution shall be the Supreme Law of the Land.

This view is also supported by leading 20th century Muslim thinkers like Sayyid Qutb (Shepard 1996:110, Hoffmann 2007:297) and Abu al-Ala al-Mawdudi (1969:215). They base their argument on Quranic verses 6:57, 12:40, and 12:67, all of which contain the phrase “in al-hukm illā li-llāh” meaning that the decision or power is God’s alone (Fatwa no. 98134 (n.d.) at IslamQA.com).

An example, which goes to the heart of why it is paramount to determine the mindset of Parvez Ahmed is (Fatwa no. 22239 (n.d.) at IslamQA.com.), which states that legislative systems which rule on matters already decided by divine intervention – such as abolishing polygamy or outlawing capital punishment – “go against the laws of the Creator” and this “constitutes disbelief (kufr)”.  Those who issue Fatwa’s, look to authoritative Islamic legal text such as the “Reliance of the Traveller” in order to support their legal opinions.

By signing a document which directly renounces Sharia or “Goes against the laws of the Creator” a Sharia Adherent Muslim would render himself an enemy of the Islamic State (Apostate) unless he was under threat of death or extreme duress, at such times it is permissible deceive and/or lie even about such grave matters as religous belief, which is normally forbidden.

Holy Deception (Taqiyya) and Permissible lying are basic tenants of the Islamic legal and religious code, which make lying and deception obligatory on all Muslims if the action is obligatory.  The Hijrah (migration) to settle enemy lands for eventual Islamic conquest and Jihad – Islamic warfare against non-Muslim to establish the religion are obligatory actions.  Jihad can take many forms to include information warfare (propaganda, dawah/outreach, as well as financial warfare (Sharia Compliant Finance (SCF)), however Jihad Qital or violent Jihad is the most revered.

Note:  CAIR advertises they are Zakat eligible on their website.  Meaning, CAIR can collect money for the (8) categories of Islamic giving which includes JIHAD.  However, CAIR boast all of their giving goes for Zakat Fi-Sabilillah or entirely for the purpose of Jihad and has since Parvez Ahmed held the position of National Chairman.

The specific language crafted in the “Pledge for Religious Freedom” strips the ability a political Islamist to wordsmith in order to give a misleading impression of tolerance and moderation where such moderation may not truly exist.

For example:  Under Islamic Legal definitions, non-Muslims are sub-human and guilty of sin (not Innocent) since they are not Muslim.  Terrorism is understood as the UNJUST killing of a Muslim only (The killing of an apostate, homosexual, and Kufr are all justified).

In light of these Islamic Understandings, consider the following statement:

“In my religion we are forbidden from killing any innocent human being and I unequivocally denounce terrorism in any form it may take.”

If this statement was made by a Sharia adherent Muslim, did it violate any tenants of Islamic law?  Understanding Sharia, does this statement in anyway condemn the killing of non-Muslims, homosexuals, or apostates which are contrary to western notions of basic Human Rights?  The answer to both of these questions is no and this statment is in no way moderate.

The vast majority of Jacksonville residents have never heard an honest discussion regarding the numerous concerns surrounding this appointment.  Unfortunately, what they have seen is members of the Council, the Florida Times Union, NAACP, ACLU and even the local Democrat Party jump on the race bait bandwagon with accusations of fear mongering, Islamophobia and outright Racism.

Those opposed to this appointment have cited the fact CAIR was labeled a Co-conspirator in the largest successfully prosecuted terrorism finance trial in U.S. history (US vs. HLF, 2008), as well as evidence which clearly demonstrates the organization which Parvez Ahmed held a leadership position in for over (10) years was created to support HAMAS with funds, media and manpower.

In addition, Parvez Ahmed has gone on record, making direct statements in support of convicted terrorist, terrorist groups HAMAS and Hezbollah, as well as writing numerous articles which appear to support the stated goals of the Muslim Brotherhood in furtherance of their “Civilization Jihad” inside America to include a recent article which suggested criminalizing free speech if it offends Islam, the Prophet Muhammad, or Muslims in accordance with Sharia Slander Law which are being pushed by the OIC at the U.N. via resolution 16/18.

In a rational world, these facts would be more than enough to disqualify this nomination and those courageous councilmen and women who changed their position based on the facts should not have been crucified in the media but commended.

With “Honor Killings” on the rise and a segment of the American population living in fear of persecution and threat death for nothing more than trying to exercise their 1st Amendment rights, the City Council would be derelict in their duty if they did not utilize ever tool available to ensure the Constitutional freedoms of every citizen are protected.

The “Pledge for Religious Freedom” provides an excellent tool to “KILL the Controversy” surrounding Parvez Ahmed’s suitability to hold a seat on a Human Rights Commission and ensue the rights of former Muslims are protected. 

The real question is will City Council take advantage of this Freedom Document?

Read more at The Watchdog Wire

 

American Laws for American Courts in GOP Platform (video)

The Republican National Convention adopted an amendment in the spirit of American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) legislation to their platform

Related articles:

 

Rejection of Truth: The Progressive Interpretation of “Un-Americanism”

David Yerushalmi

AFLC Blog:

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi is featured in a PBS report entitled “Shariah Controversy,” which highlights “the debate over banning U.S. courts from considering Islamic law in their decision-making.” As you know, Yerushalmi is the principal author of the American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) model legislation, which was enacted into law by several states and is pending in many others.  This legislation, crafted especially for states, is an effort to insulate state courts from the growing tendency to embrace constitutionally offensive foreign laws, including sharia.

Surprisingly, the PBS report is relatively balanced; but it includes an interesting quip from Rabbi David Saperstein, director and chief legal counsel for the leftwing Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center. Saperstein also delivered an invocation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention shortly before Barack Obama accepted the nomination as the Democrat presidential candidate. In the report, Saperstein claims that the efforts to enact ALAC legislation is “un-American at the deepest and most profound level.”

David Saperstein is very much like the ubiquitous reform rabbi who speaks as though he is giving a sermon and his sermons always sound like a diatribe from a humanist. Words like “un-American”, “deep”, “profound” are sure to be in tow. From an orthodox perspective, one must ask a “reform” Jew, “What about what you claim to be Jewish is in fact Jewish? Where in the world is the source for this nonsense that all peoples and cultures are of equal merit?” All of Judaism is about discerning between the holy and the profane. By reducing everything to the holy one has reduced everything to the profane.

Superficially articulate spokesmen like Saperstein rely upon the inability or unwillingness of most of their fellow travelers to think past three levels of argument. This allows the following syllogism:

  1. Only science, as in mathematical physics, provides Man with certain knowledge.
  2. No man/woman can know any absolute truth other than the certainty of science.
  3. All moral, political, and philosophical judgments (i.e., Reason, ethics, morality) are outside of mathematical physics; therefore, they are absolutely unknowable. They are mere beliefs; fully exchangeable opinion. No basis to distinguish a Judeo-Christian moral truth or political order from any other.

As Loewenberg has pointed out, based in part on the works of Klein, Voegelin, and Strauss, this is the destruction of Western thought or what has been understood as the natural tension between Reason (Athens) and Revelation (Jerusalem) in Western Philosophy.

Once you’ve arrived here, there are only two bases for political order. We have come to this understanding — the Founders did — from Hobbes and Locke. If all but science (not science as in theory but as in mathesis universalis) is but meaningless and fully interchangeable opinion (A=B, B=C, … X=X1, therefore on any given day, A=X1), a political society seeking to choose the right political order may be “required” to agree that A=T or tyranny in its active phase. That is, if there is no basis for truth, and there is only personal “taste” or unprovable opinion, the way for society to agree on order is by one opinion being enforced through power.

The other approach to political order is through “procedure” or “process”. This has been AFLC Advisory Board Member and bestselling author Andrew C. McCarthy’s contribution to the contemporary discussion. Because there can be no truth, there can only be valid elections or “due process”. Thus, a “fair” election is one where you vote and merely count the votes accurately. The result on that day at that place becomes the truth for that time and that place. But, that truth is entirely relative and temporal and there is no basis to invest it with any lasting constitutional claim of truth.

Thus, the living constitution of the progressives, the Progressive Truth of Time-History-Progress itself, this then is the only transcendence available to man. If that rings of Hegel, there is a reason for that.

It follows, then, that there can be no moral truth or superiority to a Judeo-Christian value of the individual over the collective because there can be no truth other than progress. This “progress” is what “Rabbi” Saperstein means when he refers to what is “American” at the “most profound level”. For the Progressive, ”profundity”  is the deep truth that there is no truth.

Now, we see the perfect storm — or opportunity — for the Left to join the sharia faithful in their destruction of the Judeo-Christian West. For the Progressive, the hatred of a Judeo-Christian moral or political truth is of necessity the last barrier to the syllogism noted above.  For  the Sharia-Muslim faithful, Judaism simply and Christianity in political society operate to literally deny the truth of the Koran and the “Law”.  As long as the value and the integrity of the individual reigns supreme over the collectiveUmma, the Ulema will not be able to argue that A=T, as in the tyranny of sharia.

It is this anti-philosophic “goal” of the destruction of Western philosophy which so neatly allies Progressives and the Sharia Faithful.  Their allied raison d’etre is the destruction of Western political order based upon the Judeo-Christian tension between Reason and Revelation, where both give way but neither concedes nor demands a totalitarian dominance in matters political.  And, at the core of this tension and recognition (i.e., “tolerance” proper) between Reason and Revelation is the respect we accord the individual over the collective.

Related article:

CAIR Targets AFLC Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi in Ramadan Fundraising Pitch (AFLC Blog)

Bans on court use of sharia/international law: Introduced in Mississippi and Kentucky, advancing in Florida & South Dakota, dying in Virginia

 

February 13th, 2012 by Bill Raftery at Gavel to Gavel:

The two weeks since my last update in this area have been particularly busy. Of note:

  • Mississippi’s introduction of HB 2 and Kentucky’s HB 386 brings to 22 (versus 24 states in 2011) the number of states to have a bill banning the use of international law/sharia by state courts in 2012
  • South Dakota has heavily modified their bills and achieved committee approval with a single sentence statute: “No court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative mediation or enforcement authority may render any judgment predicated on any religious code or enforce any provisions of any religious code.”
  • Virginia’s bans, while initially appearing to be advancing, were deferred into the 2013 legislative session.

Full roster of 36 bills introduced and their statuses after the jump.

 
Bill Provisions Status
Alaska HB 88 Prohibits a court, arbitrator, mediator, administrative agency, or enforcement authority from applying a foreign law if application of the foreign law would violate an individual’s right guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of Alaska or the United States Constitution. Approved by House State Affairs Committee 3/17/11. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 4/4/11. Carried over from 2011 session.
Alabama SB 33 (Constitutional Amendment) Enacts American and Alabama Laws for Alabama Courts Amendment. Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, arbitrative, or enforcement authority shall not apply or enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate any state law or a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” In Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Alabama SB 40 (Constitutional Amendment) Defines foreign law as “any law, rule, or legal code, or system established, used, or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the states or territories of the United States, or which exist as a separate body of law, legal code, or system adopted or used anywhere by any people, group, or culture different from the Constitution and laws of the United States or the State of Alabama.” Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, arbitrative, or enforcement authority shall not apply or enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate any state law or a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” In Senate Judiciary Committee.
Alabama SB 84 (Constitutional Amendment) Defines foreign law as “any law, rule, or legal code, or system established, used, or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the states or territories of the United States, or which exist as a separate body of law, legal code, or system adopted or used anywhere by any people, group, or culture different from the Constitution and laws of the United States or the State of Alabama.” Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, arbitrative, or enforcement authority shall not apply or enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate any state law or a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” In Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Florida HB 1209 Provides “foreign law, legal code, or system” means any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations or tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals. Provides the term does not include the common law and statute laws of England as described or any laws of the Native American tribes in the state. Declares “Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision violates the public policy of this state and is void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its ruling or decision in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any foreign law, legal code, or system that does not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed by the State Constitution or the United States Constitution.” Approved by House Judiciary Committee, Civil Justice Subcommittee 1/31/12.
Florida SB 1360 Provides “foreign law, legal code, or system” means any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations or tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals. Provides the term does not include the common law and statute laws of England as described or any laws of the Native American tribes in the state. Declares “Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision violates the public policy of this state and is void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its ruling or decision in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any foreign law, legal code, or system that does not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed by the State Constitution or the United States Constitution.” Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 1/25/12.
Georgia HB 45 Provides “the term ‘foreign law’ means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the United States or its territories…A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other tribunal shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” In House Committee on Judiciary. Carried over from 2011 session.
Georgia HB 242 Declares “‘foreign law’ means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the United States or its territories…A court, administrative agency, or other tribunal shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” In House Committee on Judiciary Non-Civil. Carried over from 2011 session.
Georgia SB 51 Provides that no court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other tribunal shall enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States In Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Carried over from 2011 session.
Indiana HB 1166 Provides that a court may not apply, enforce, or grant comity, res judicata, claim preclusion, or issue preclusion to a foreign law, ruling, or judgment if doing so would violate the fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the Constitution of the State of Indiana. Provides that a provision in a contract or agreement: (1) that provides for the choice of foreign laws in its interpretation; or (2) that provides for the choice of venue or forum; and that would result in a violation of a fundamental liberty, right, or privilege guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the Constitution of the State of Indiana is void and unenforceable. Prohibits a court from granting certain motions if the transfer is likely to affect the constitutional rights of the nonmoving party. Provides that a court may not require or authorize any court to: (1) adjudicate or prohibit a religious organization from adjudicating ecclesiastical matters; or (2) determine or interpret the doctrine of a religious organization. In House Committee on Judiciary.
Indiana SB 36 Prohibits the enforcement of a foreign law (defined as a law established and used outside the jurisdiction of the United States) if the enforcement would violate a right granted by the Indiana or United States Constitution. Provides that a provision in a contract or agreement calling for the application of foreign law is not enforceable and is void if the provision cannot be modified, unless the contract explicitly states that it will be enforced in accordance with foreign law. Prohibits a court from granting certain motions to transfer a case to another jurisdiction if the transfer is likely to affect the constitutional rights of the nonmoving party. In Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Indiana SB 90 Prohibits the enforcement of a foreign law (defined as a law established and used outside the jurisdiction of the United States) if the enforcement would violate a right granted by the Indiana or United States Constitution. Provides that a provision in a contract or agreement between natural persons calling for the application of foreign law is not enforceable and is void if the provision cannot be modified. Prohibits a court from granting certain motions to transfer a case to another jurisdiction if the transfer is likely to affect the constitutional rights of the nonmoving party. In Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Iowa HB 489 Defines “foreign law, legal code, or system” as “any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including but not limited to international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals.” Provides “It is the public policy of this state that the primary factor which a court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator, or other entity or person acting under the authority of state law shall consider in granting comity to a decision rendered under any foreign law, legal code, or system against a person in this state is whether the decision rendered violated any right of the person in this state guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of Iowa, the Constitution of the United States, or any statute enacted or decision issued under the constitution of the state of Iowa or the United States.” In House Judiciary Committee. Carried over from 2011 session.
Iowa HB 575 Enacts “Iowa Freedom and Sovereignty Act.” Defines “Foreign law” as “any law enacted by a jurisdiction or a governmental or quasi-governmental body other than the federal government or a state of the United States. “Foreign law” includes a religious law, legal code, accord, or ruling promulgated or made by an international organization, tribunal, or formal or informal administrative body.” Provides “any foreign law or other law that is in conflict with the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, or the Constitution of the State of Iowa shall not have force or effect in this state…It is the public policy of this state that the only factor that a court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator, or other person acting under authority of this state’s laws shall consider in granting comity to a decision rendered under a foreign law that affects a sovereign citizen of this state is whether the decision violates the sovereign citizen’s rights under the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Iowa.” In House State Government Committee. Carried over from 2011 session.
Iowa HJR 14 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides the state courts “when exercising judicial power, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Iowa, the United States Code, federal regulations, established common law, the Iowa Code, the Iowa administrative code, and if necessary the law of another state of the United States provided the law of the other state does not include Sharia law. The courts shall not use the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law. The provisions of this section shall apply to all cases before the respective courts including but not limited to cases of first impression.” In House Judiciary Committee. Carried over from 2011 session.
Kansas HB 2087 Defines “foreign law,” “legal code” or “system” means any law, legal code or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies or other formal or informal tribunals. Provides “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 any law, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the United States and Kansas constitutions.” Approved by full House 3/30/11. In Senate Committee on Judiciary. Carried over from 2011 session.
Kentucky HB 386 Establishes legislative intent that the rights of an individual afforded under the Constitutions of the Commonwealth and the United States take precedence over the application of any foreign law in any judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding. Strictly construe waivers of constitutional rights Provides exceptions for corporate entities Prohibits choice of venue outside of the Commonwealth or United States to preserve the constitutional rights of the person against whom enforcement is sought. In House (no committee).
Michigan HB 4769 Defines “foreign law,” as “any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals.” Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States.” In House Committee on Judiciary.
Michigan SB 701 Defines “foreign law,” as “any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals.” Provides “A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States.” In Senate Committee on Government Operations.
Mississippi HB 2 Provides “”Foreign law” means any law, rule, or legal code or system
established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the states
or territories of the United States…A court, arbitrator,
administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement
authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a
right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United
States.”
In House Judiciary A Committee.
Missouri HB 1512 Provides 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 any foreign law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States and Missouri constitutions, including, but not limited to, due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy or marriage as specifically defined by the constitution of this state. In House (no committee).
Missouri SB 676 Mandates that any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling shall be unenforceable if based on a foreign law that does not grant the parties the same rights as the parties have under the United States and Missouri constitutions. In Senate (no committee).
Nebraska LB 647 Declares a 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 on any foreign law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decisions the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Nebraska. In Senate Judiciary Committee. Carried over from 2011 session.
New Hampshire HB 1422 Declares that no New Hampshire court shall enforce foreign law or a state law enforcing foreign law if such enforcement violates an individual’s or corporation’s rights under the New Hampshire constitution or the United States Constitution. In House Committee on Judiciary.
New Jersey AB 919 Provides that a foreign law may only be recognized by a court in New Jersey if it does not violate any right guaranteed by the Constitution of this State or of the United States of America. In Assembly Judiciary Committee.
New Mexico SJR 14 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides “The courts provided for in this article, when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States constitution, the constitution of New Mexico, statutes of the United States and federal regulations adopted pursuant thereto, established common law, New Mexico statutes and state regulations adopted pursuant thereto and, if necessary, the law of another state of the United States, provided that the law of the other state does not include Sharia law. The courts shall not consider or apply a rule of comity to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures, international law, laws promulgated by foreign governments or national laws of foreign countries if the consideration or application of the foreign precepts or laws would violate the public policy of the state of New Mexico or reduce or impair the rights of any resident of the state of New Mexico existing under New Mexico statutes or common law governing child custody, rights of married persons, property rights, protection from domestic violence or any criminal law. The courts shall not consider or apply Sharia law. The provisions of this section shall apply to all cases before the respective courts, including, but not limited to, cases of first impression.” In Senate Rules Committee.
North Carolina HB 640 Declares “it to be the public policy of this State to protect its citizens from the application of foreign law that would result in the violation of a right of a natural person guaranteed by the North Carolina Constitution or the United States Constitution. The public policies expressed in this section shall apply only to actual or foreseeable violations of a constitutional right resulting from the application of the foreign law.” In House Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee C. Carried over from 2011 session.
Oklahoma HB 1552 Provides 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 any law, rule, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States and Oklahoma Constitutions. Approved by full House 3/17/11. In Senate Rules Committee. Carried over from 2011 session.
Pennsylvania HB 2029 Provides a tribunal shall not consider a foreign legal code or system which does not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Pennsylvania. In House Judiciary Committee. Carried over from 2011 session.
South Carolina HB 3490 Provides “As used in this section, the term “foreign law” means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in or by another jurisdiction outside of the United States or its territories…A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority may not enforce a foreign law if it would violate a constitutionally guaranteed right of this State or of the United States. The provisions of this section apply only to actual or foreseeable violations of the constitutional rights of a person caused by the application of the foreign law.” In House Judiciary Committee. Carried over from 2011 session.
South Carolina SB 444 Provides “As used in this section, the term ‘foreign law’ means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in or by another jurisdiction outside of the United States or its territories….A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority may not enforce a foreign law if it would violate a constitutionally guaranteed right of this State or of the United States. The provisions of this section apply only to actual or foreseeable violations of the constitutional rights of a person caused by the application of the foreign law.” In Senate Judiciary Committee. Carried over from 2011 session.
South Dakota HB 1253 “”No court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative mediation or enforcement authority may render any judgment predicated on any religious code or enforce any provisions of any religious code.” Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/10/12.
South Dakota SB 136 ORIGINAL: Provides any ruling or decision that makes use of international or foreign law is void and unenforceable if the court bases its ruling or decision in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any foreign law, legal code, or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the constitutions of the United States and South Dakota, including due process of law, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy or marriage as specifically provided by the constitution of this state. Foreign law, legal code, or system is any foreign law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals. Specifies the term foreign law does not include any tribal laws of the Native American tribes in the state. AS AMENDED: “No court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative mediation or enforcement authority may render any judgment predicated on any religious code or enforce any provisions of any religious code.” Approved as amended by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/10/12.
Virginia HB 631 Provides that court decisions and contracts and other agreements will be void as violative of the public policy of the Commonwealth where such decisions or contracts are based on foreign law, i.e., law applied in a jurisdiction outside of the United States, where the application of such foreign law would violate a person’s rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Virginia. Continued to 2013 by House Committee for Courts of Justice 2/10/12.
Virginia HB 825 Prohibits any Virginia court or administrative agency from applying the law of any jurisdiction outside of the United States and its territories unless the application is required by the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, or any federal or state law. Approved by House Committee for Courts of Justice 2/3/12. Continued to 2013 by House Committee for Courts of Justice 2/10/12.
West Virginia HB 3220 Provides “”foreign law, legal code or system” means any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals…It is the public policy of this state that the primary factor which a court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator or other entity or person acting under the authority of state law shall consider in granting comity to a decision rendered under any foreign law, legal code or system against a natural person in this state is whether the decision rendered either violated or would violate any right of the natural person in this state guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of West Virginia or the United States Constitution or any statute or decision under those Constitutions.” In House Judiciary Committee. Carried over from 2011

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