Oklahoma overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment last Election Day barring judges from considering Islamic or international law in Oklahoma state courts. Now, a USAToday article reported yesterday, Muneer Awad, a recent University of Georgia law school graduate born in Michigan, who claims he's standing up for the U.S. Constitution and trying to defend the First Amendment, has sued in Oklahoma District Court, and was granted a temporary injunction, to block the amendment from taking effect. Oklahoma has naturally appealed.
The article relates that although Oklahoma's law is the first to come under court scrutiny, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures bills in at least seven states, including Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah, propose like measures, with Tennessee and Louisiana already having similar versions banning the use of foreign law in certain circumstances.
Last May, Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte introduced a House Resolution 473, joined by 24 cosponsors, "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that judicial determinations regarding the meaning of the Constitution of the United States should not be based on judgments, laws, or pronouncements of foreign institutions unless such foreign judgments, laws, or pronouncements inform an understanding of the original meaning of the Constitution of the United States." That was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in August 2009. Now, according to USAToday.com, Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House, may push for a federal law that "clearly and unequivocally states that we're not going to tolerate any imported law."