Presumably an anti-unicorn referendum is also on the ballot

Via Ambinder:
One of 11 ballot initiatives in [Oklahoma] this November, State Question 755, better known as the "Save Our State" constitutional amendment, would prevent courts from using international or Sharia law. The question made it to the ballot by passing the state Senate 41-2 and the House 82-10. In addition to potentially rallying the conservative base to the polls, the initiative, which bans something that is nearly impossible statutorily, is worth watching because the GOP may employ it in swing states two years down the line.

At the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. in September, Newt Gingrich positioned himself perhaps to the right of Sarah Palin in a potential bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination by saying, "I am opposed to any efforts to impose Sharia in the United States, and we should have a federal law that says under no circumstances in any jurisdiction in the United States will Sharia [law] be used in any court to apply to any judgment made about American law."


Those opposed to the ballot initiative believe it is a preemptive strike against a non-threat. They call the law xenophobic. They even cite the fact that even the amendment's sponsors and strongest supporters cannot statutorily cite a case in which Oklahoma courts have applied Sharia law in any ruling. Yet supporters of the amendment, borrowing George W. Bush's "with us or against us" formulation, speciously claim that those who don't support the amendment are actually for Sharia law. [emphasis added]
Oh, I just love excluded middles.

Next up, a law forbidding gnomes from holding public office. Those who object will be easily identified as being in the pocket of the gnome lobby. Because what other possible explanation could there be?

I can't wait to see all the new laws that will spring up to solve problems that don't exist. Why stop at Sharia? Why not outlaw the only-slightly-less-implausible use of elvish divination in deciding court cases? You're not in favor of those fey weirdos settling American law, are you? Are you?


  1. About the only way that Sharia law would be applied in the courts would be if both parties to a dispute agreed to a choice-of-law clause in an arbitration agreement. If that is the case, the parties could agree to use Sharia law to govern their dispute and to be bound by the result of the Sharia-style adjudication -- a court would enforce that arbitration award if the result of the process were not contrary to a compelling public policy.

  2. Or for that matter, decisions of foreign courts just so the US doesn't display any of that damn exceptionalism? Really, who can offer an objective reason why the Bill of Rights is in any way superior to Sharia holding gays should be executed in public?

  3. GJ, first of all, please don't cite Dick Morris. It makes you seem unable to discriminate the quality of your sources.

    I believe you are misinterpreting what Ginsburg said, and I have no idea what your point is in linking to the Breyer article.

    The UK has different jurisprudence than the US, so what one judge there has to say is irrelevant.

    Finally, I will concede that the marital rape case was wrongly decided. The appeals court didn't need some ridiculous new law to overturn the decision. The answer to bad law isn't MORE bad law.

  4. My point was simply that if Morris, Ginsberg, and the UK's senior judge were talking about elvish divination, well, perhaps we would be justified in passing laws preventing elvish divination from being used as the basis of court decisions.