Monday, November 26, 2012

American Laws for American Courts. Makes Perfect Sense

"A court...shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States."

Everyone would agree with that, right? Who would think a U.S. court would ever consider foreign laws in its deliberation? Think again. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have both stated that it is appropriate to consider foreign laws when forming legal opinions. According to the Public Policy Alliance, "...increasingly, foreign laws and legal doctrines, including Shariah law principles, are finding their way into US court cases. Reviews of state laws provide extensive evidence that foreign laws and legal doctrines are introduced into US state court cases, including, notably, Islamic law known as Shariah, which is used in family courts and other courts in dozens of foreign Muslim-majority nations."

It is fully appropriate for State Legislatures to pass laws that protect our American system of laws and prohibit courts from using foreign laws to form their legal opinions. Rep. Dave Agema has introduced HB 4769, "American laws for American Courts" to provide this protection. The quote from the top of this article is taken from the language of his bill.

While this seems like a legislative "slam dunk" it has been languishing in the House since its introduction in June of 2011. The bill is on the calendar for session November 27, 2012. If it does not pass by the end of the year, it will die.

Now is the time to swing into action:
  1. Contact Speaker Jase Bolger's office now, or anytime until Tuesday afternoon. Ask him to take this bill up.
  2. Contact your state rep. and ask him/her to support this bill.
  3. Come to Lansing Tuesday, November 27, to visit your state rep's office and stay for session at 1:30 p.m. so you can be in the gallery supporting Rep. Agema. Remember what Thomas Jefferson said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." We can not let our guard down. And when we have a chance to affirm our American way of life, we must do so.

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