Federal Court Blocks Oklahoma Sharia Ban From Taking Effect

A Federal Court has enjoined Oklahoma’s recently passed “anti-Sharia” law from taking effect:

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday to block a new amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would prohibit state courts from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases.

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange handed down the order after an Oklahoma man filed a lawsuit claiming the amendment stigmatized his religion and would invalidate his will, which he said is partially based on Islamic Law, also known as Sharia Law.

“My constitutional rights are being violated through the condemnation of my faith,” said Muneer Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma. “Islam was the target of this amendment. This amendment does not have a secular purpose.”

The measure, State Question 755, was approved with 70 percent of the vote in the Nov. 2 general election. The judge’s order prevents the state Election Board from certifying the results of that vote, which it had planned to do Tuesday afternoon.

Not a surprise really, and given much of the legal commentary that has come to light since last week about this law, it seems rather clear that the law is likely to go down to defeat in the Courts.

FILED UNDER: Islam, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, Religion, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. sam says:

    Eugene Volokh argues, inter alia, the plaintiff does not have standing. See, District Court Temporarily Enjoins Oklahoma No-Use-of-Sharia-Law-in-Court Constitutional Amendment

  2. John Burgess says:

    I’ll have to disagree with the estimable Prof. Volokh on this one. The plaintiff alleges–authoritatively, I believe–that he will suffer immediate and actual harm in having his religion officially disparaged by the state of Oklahoma. As soon as the amendment is certified, the harm ensues. Not only is his religion automatically cast down, but his equal protection under law is removed. As the TRO says, in a citation to an earlier case, protecting a constitutional right is very much something a state should be concerned about doing.

    I disagree with Volokh, too, that the issue of particularized harm, in making the plaintiff’s will void if the amendment is certified, is timely. A will, while looking forward, is also a current document, established to ensure stability.

    We’ll find out on or about 11/22.