North Carolina lawmakers are hoping to pass legislation that would ban the consideration of "foreign laws" in the state’s court system.
House Bill 695, entitled "Foreign Laws/Protect Constitutional Rights," is designed to prevent courts from recognizing Islamic Sharia law, although that is not specifically mentioned. An Oklahoma ban that singled out Sharia was blocked last year after lawmakers decided it was likely to be found unconstitutional.
Foreign law bans have become popular with conservatives. Seven states - Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee - have passed comparable bans. Missouri is reportedly working on a similar bill.
A bill being advanced by the North Carolina Legislature that could have resulted in an official stat e religion was defeated last month, The Huffington Post reported.
"I suppose since instituting an official state religion failed, passing anti-Sharia law legislation is the next best thing," state Democratic Party spokesman Micah Beasley said. "It's unfortunate that North Carolina Republican leaders continue to waste taxpayers' resources with fringe policy proposals such as this. North Carolinians deserve a legislature focused on jobs, not potentially unconstitutional power grabs."
The text of House Bill 695 is below:
“In recognition that the United States Constitution and the Constitution of North Carolina constitute the supreme law of this State, the General Assembly hereby 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 fundamental constitutional right of a natural person. The public policies expressed in this section shall apply only to actual or foreseeable violations of a fundamental constitutional right resulting from the application of the foreign law. Nonapplication of foreign law that would violate fundamental constitutional rights.”
The bill continues: “A court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator, or other entity or person acting under the authority of State law shall not apply a foreign law in any legal proceeding involving or recognize a foreign judgment involving a claim for absolute divorce, divorce from bed and board, child custody, child support, alimony, or equitable distribution, if doing so would violate a fundamental constitutional right of one or more natural persons who are parties to the proceeding.”
Sources: The Huffington Post