Plen’y of heart and plen’y of hope 5

The net-scouring website weasel zippers brings us this cheering news from OKLAHOMA.

State lawmakers have voted to allow Oklahoma voters to prevent judicial rulings in foreign countries from impacting local court decisions through approval of the “Save Our State” constitutional amendment.

House Joint Resolution 1056, by state Rep. Rex Duncan, would allow Oklahomans to vote to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to require the courts to “uphold and adhere to the law” as provided in the United States Constitution, the Oklahoma Constitution, the United States Code and federal regulations, Oklahoma Statutes and rules, and established common law.

The proposed amendment would prohibit all Oklahoma courts from considering the legal precepts of other nations or cultures, even in cases of first impression.

“Unfortunately, some judges in other states and on the federal bench have begun to cite international law in their court decisions, effectively undermining our own democratic system of government,” said Duncan, a Sand Springs Republican and attorney who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. “Our nation’s laws were developed through a democratic process and should not be undermined by haphazard reliance on foreign rulings developed in autocratic societies. Oklahoma court decisions should be based on the U.S. Constitution, Oklahoma Constitution, and our state and national laws – period.”

The proposed amendment declares that courts “shall not consider international law or Sharia Law.”

That is the way to stop leftist judges – the sort Obama favors – who try to “interpret” the Constitution to mean the opposite of what it says. If all the states would follow Oklahoma’s example, Oh what a beautiful morning would break!

Also, if they did do that, and if (a vain hope this, we know) the individual countries of Europe would enact something similar, at least one battle in Islam’s war of conquest would be won by the weakening West.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Law, Muslims, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 25, 2010

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This post has 5 comments.

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  • C. Gee

    “That is the way to stop leftist judges – the sort Obama favors – who try to “interpret” the Constitution to mean the opposite of what it says.”

    Fond hope. See my reply to Brian Altenhofel.

  • If this passes the ballot, it will actually hurt Oklahoma. It will have negative consequences on cases that would typically require international law to be interpreted by the courts, such as a contract between two vendors, one from Oklahoma and one from overseas. (Panama Processes v. Cities Services Co., OK 1990)

    It will also cause issues where marriages which were performed overseas will not be considered valid in Oklahoma.

    • C. Gee

      There is nothing to suggest that this law will interfere with choice-of-law clauses in contracts.
      As for recognizing marriages performed overseas – federal law and/or Oklahoma law – will have long established that Oklahoma will recognized such marriages. Polygamous marriages – legal overseas – have not traditionally been recognized in America. The new law would prevent courts from circumventing American marriage law by reaching for interpretations of American law based on foreign law.

      • Here is the language that is added to the Oklahoma Constitution:

        “The Courts provided for in subsection A of this section, when exercising their judicial authority, shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the United States Constitution, the Oklahoma Constitution, the United States Code, federal regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, established common law, and the Oklahoma Statutes and rules promulgated pursuant thereto in making judicial decisions. The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia Law. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all cases before the respective courts including, but not limited to, cases of first impression.”

        TLDR: “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia Law.”

        • C. Gee

          That validates my point.

          The 1st wife would be recognized as the only wife. The 2nd , 3rd and 4th wives would not be recognized as wives. In that respect, though, the new law doesn't alter what happens now.

          BUT: in deciding whether these extra wives should be entitled to the rights and privileges (social benefits) of marriage, the court does not need to reach for precepts of international human rights law to form its opinion. A smart activist court wouldn't need to find that the women are wives (thereby recognizing Sharia ) in order to hold that they are entitled to privileges. An” equal rights” argument or “substantive due process” argument will get them there just fine.

          Actually, where the US Supreme Court has looked to international law in creating precedent, that precedent will stand – as it must – as the Oklahoma law recognizes. So the Oklahoma law doesn't change anything there, either. Further, where the US signs on to international law, it cannot be disregarded by Oklahoma courts – nor can the international jurisprudence accruing under that law.

          Oklahoma makes a good effort to keep international human rights laws and Sharia at bay. But it is doomed. Every law, even one setting forth rules of interpretation, is subject to interpretation. The court has control over language and meaning. “It all depends on what the meaning of “is” is….” William Jefferson Clinton (whose Arkansas law license has been reinstated, hasn't it? Has Obama thought of nominating him to the Supremes? )