More States Seek to Ban Foreign Law in Courts

North Carolina last month became the seventh state to pass legislation barring judges from considering foreign law in their decisions, including sharia. The bill awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
August 5, 2013
 

A growing number of states are targeting what they see as a threat to their court systems: the influence of international laws.

 
North Carolina last month became the seventh state to pass legislation barring judges from considering foreign law in their decisions, including sharia. The bill awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
 
Six other states — Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee — have already enacted similar legislation since 2010, and at least 25 have introduced such measures, according to the Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project.
 
One exception to this trend is Missouri. In June, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed a foreign law bill, saying it would make international adoptions more difficult.
 
Sharia, or Islamic law, is both a moral code and religious law that governs all aspects of Muslim life, ranging from religious obligations to family relationships. It is derived from the Quran, the main religious text of Islam, and the teachings of Mohammed, the Muslim prophet.
 
Many of the bills, including North Carolina's, would apply only in situations in which invoking foreign law would violate a person's constitutional rights.

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