The idea of Oklahomans feeling so threatened by the bogeyman of Islamic militants in Oklahoma (really? They'd pick Oklahoma?) that they'd ban Sharia from Oklahoma courts was insane on its face. It also had pretty amusing consequences. First, about the Ten Commandments.
The ballot states that Oklahoma courts must “rely on federal and state law when deciding cases” and forbids them from “considering or using international law” and “from considering or using Sharia Law.” The measure passed with 70 percent of the vote.
As a law professor noted to CNN, however, the religious zealotry of these lawmakers [who passed a law ordering the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on state capitol grounds] may now be in serious self-conflict:
Rick Tepker, the first member of the University of Oklahoma School of Law faculty to try a case before the U.S. Supreme Court...called the passage of the measure “a mess” with implications unknown until a case that challenges it arises.
“Many of us who understand the law are scratching our heads this morning, laughing so we don’t cry,” he said. “I would like to see Oklahoma politicians explain if this means that the courts can no longer consider the Ten Commandments. Isn’t that a precept of another culture and another nation? The result of this is that judges aren’t going to know when and how they can look at sources of American law that were international law in origin.”
This law obvioulsy makes Oklahoma feel like hostile territory for Muslim Americans. It also makes it potentially hostile territory for the very first nations to populate the land that is now Oklahoma.
Oklahoma has the second largest population of Native Americans in the U.S and law experts like Oklahoma University law professor Taiawagi Helton point out that language in the law banning courts from looking at “legal precepts of other nations or cultures” could pose a problem if applied to tribal legal cases, as the tribes are considered sovereign nations. In fact, the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission released an official memo on October 20 explaining how the “lack of specific tribal law language” could “damage the sovereignty of all Oklahoma tribes” and “starkly reminds [the Commission] that some Oklahoma lawmakers forgot that our nation and state were built on the principles, blood, and back of other nations and cultures, namely, ou[r] tribes”
A perfect example of the consequences of voting out of fear. Like the second term of George W. Bush. A federal judge has granted a temporary order blocking the ban from taking effect. A hearing on the amendment will be held on November 22.
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