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@NCCapitol

Sharia ban resurfaces in Senate

Posted July 18, 2013
Updated July 25, 2013

— North Carolina lawmakers are once again weighing a bill to ban the "application of foreign law" in family law cases in state courts. 

In the Senate Judiciary 1 Committee Thursday, a bill regarding metering agreements for renters was gutted and amended to become the Sharia law ban that passed the House earlier this session.  

The new House Bill 522 does not specifically mention Islamic Law or "Sharia," but it was the topic of a supporting handout provided to the panel by House sponsor Rep. Chris Whitmire, R-Transylvania.

Whitmire said both the House and the Senate have already passed the language in the bill, which says courts, arbitrators, mediators and other state officials shall not recognize "foreign law" in family law cases if it would "result in the violation of a fundamental constitutional right of a natural person."

"There are times when foreign laws in our courts have very demonstrably violated civil rights in our courts," Whitmire told the committee. "We've had multiple cases around the United States – 27 that I've got in my bag here."

Whitmire said his bill "undergirds the basis of our free market economy and our American legal tradition" by banning judges from recognizing such laws.

"There's an ever-growing frequency of foreign laws under the concept of comity entering our courts," he said. "The judiciary is being forced to legislate from the bench."

Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, said she couldn't see the need for the bill. 

"Doesn't the Constitution already guarantee this?" Wade asked. "I don't see why we have to make another law. The Constitution is already the law."

"When we're dealing with treaties with foreign countries, those are many times by the courts given much leeway," Whitmire replied.

Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, mentioned a 2012 case, Mussa v. Palmer-Mussa, in which the North Carolina Supreme Court was asked to address the validity of an Islamic marriage and divorce.

"I just think anytime we can uphold the Constitution of the United States," Goolsby said, "that's what we need to focus on."

The bill passed 4-1, with Wade voting against it. It now goes to the Senate floor, where it could be up for a vote Thursday afternoon. 

Whitmire's original bill, House Bill 695, had abortion restrictions added to it by the Senate Rules Committee two weeks ago, and it is now stalled in the House after Gov. Pat McCrory expressed concerns about it.

WRAL News has not been able to find any cases in which Sharia law has been applied in North Carolina.

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  • TopAssistant Jul 19, 2013

    The Center for Security Policy’s report, Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases evaluates 50 Appellate Court cases from 23 states that involve conflicts between Shariah (Islamic law) and American state law.
    These cases are the stories of Muslim American families, mostly Muslim women and children, who were asking American courts to preserve their rights to equal protection and due process. These families came to America for freedom from the discriminatory and cruel laws of Shariah. When our courts then apply Shariah law in the lives of these families, and deny them equal protection, they are betraying the principles on which America was founded.
    Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases
    Version 1.4 / June 21, 2011 (PDF, 635 pages, 2.4 MB)
    http://shariahinamericancourts.com

  • HeadsUp Jul 19, 2013

    While we're at it, should we ban all religously-based law? Why?

  • kdogwnc Jul 19, 2013

    "When we're dealing with treaties with foreign countries, those are many times by the courts given much leeway," Rep. Whitmire replied.

    Well, Mr. Whitmire, welcome to the United States of America, where "all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land."

    Why do you hate America so much?

  • kdogwnc Jul 19, 2013

    Rep. Whitmire apparently is not very familiar with the Constitution of the United States, to wit: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding."

    Judges in every state are indeed bound by treaties, which are part of the supreme law of the land. Like everything this General Assembly has done this session, this particular bill is a waste of time, not worth the bandwidth it is taking up.

    Meanwhile, we have the 5th highest unemployment rate in the nation.

  • thewayitis Jul 18, 2013

    No foreign law should ever be valid in these United States.

  • corgimom06 Jul 18, 2013

    What groups are pushing Sharia Law and are such a big threat that we need a law to ban it?

  • FlagWavingFascistCrank Jul 18, 2013

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if the NCGOP passed a ban on Sharia law, and then they all vanished?

  • Krimson Jul 18, 2013

    And this creates how many jobs???

  • FlagWavingFascistCrank Jul 18, 2013

    Good point, but if we stopped the insanity, the NCGOP would run slam out of somethin' to do. Poor little knot-headed fanatics, they have to crank this nutty stuff out to appeal to their extreme base in order to stay in power......there are only a limited number of anti-abortion red meat laws they can pass, after all.

  • FlagWavingFascistCrank Jul 18, 2013

    How about passing a law that bans solutions for imaginary problems, it'll free the NCGOP to get to work creating all those JOBS JOBS JOBS they promised NC if we'd vote for 'em.

    Tempus Fugit.

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