Target: U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange
Goal: Applaud a federal court for striking down anti-Islamic amendment to Oklahoma’s state constitution
Recently, a U.S. federal court permanently denied the constitutionality of an amendment to Oklahoma’s state constitution that would have banned the use of Sharia law in Oklahoma courts over American law, a practice that does not actually exist. The unconstitutional amendment stipulated that Oklahoma courts could not invoke the legal doctrines of other cultures and nations. Moreover, the amendment specifically mentions the consideration of Sharia law, the legal precepts abided by in Islamic societies. The decision made by the court should be applauded for striking down salient anti-Islamic sentiments that have dominated American society during the 21st century.
There was never much doubt that this attempt to write in anti-Islamic sentiments into a state constitution directly violates the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court held in prior lawsuits that the Free Exercise Clause was relevant if an amendment or law discriminated against certain religious beliefs or aimed to prohibit certain conduct done for religious reasons. Furthermore, it is unclear what the purpose of the overt anti-Islamic language in the amendment served. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit stated that there was not one known instance where a court in Oklahoma had invoked Sharia law or used legal tenets of foreign cultures or nations. No Oklahoma courts had ever applied foreign principles that resulted in serious legal problems in Oklahoma. Thus, such blatant anti-Islamic sentiment in this proposed amendment is abhorrent and unfounded.
Nonetheless, many similar attempts by other conservative state legislatures to ban Islamic law or to hinder courts from using foreign legal sources has become increasingly popular in light of the events of September 11, 2001. Lawmakers from 32 states have proposed and debated similar measures; Tennessee, Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Kansas have already enacted bans on foreign law. Please sign this petition to applaud the U.S. federal court system for protecting the ideals enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and for combating the ubiquitous anti-Islamic sentiment that has plagued and continues to plague the United States.
Dear Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange,
We commend you for striking down an overtly unconstitutional proposed amendment in Oklahoma that wrote in animus towards Muslims into Oklahoma’s state constitution. This amendment directly violates the Free Exercise Clause in the U.S. Constitution. The purpose of this amendment is unclear because there are no known or documented instances where a court in Oklahoma invoked Sharia law or used another country’s or culture’s legal precepts. Such blatant anti-Islamic sentiment must be condemned.
Many similar attempts to ban Islamic law or hinder courts from consulting foreign sources have been made in several other states. Foreign law bans in several other states have been enacted, and 32 other states have debated similar measures. We commend you for upholding the ideals enshrined in the U.S Constitution and preventing anti-Islamic bigotry from being written into Oklahoma’s state constitution. We hope that this statement will prevent other conservative state legislatures from proposing similar measures.
[Your Name Here]
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