Bill banning courts from considering foreign law heading to McCrory

afrank@newsobserver.comJuly 24, 2013 

— The House approved a bill that keeps judges from considering foreign law in state court decisions.

Instances of American judges using sharia laws in rulings make the measure necessary, said Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton, a Wilson Republican and the legislation’s Senate sponsor.

The bill doesn’t specifically mention sharia law, a legal system based on Islamic teachings, and it could affect agreements based on other foreign laws, as well, if those agreements are judged to conflict with the constitutional rights of an involved party.

“It follows legislation that has been proven in five other states that has not been challenged to date,” said Rep. Chris Whitmire of Brevard, a Republican and the House bill’s sponsor. “This protects women and minorities, it ultimately protects our U.S. and state constitutional rights.”

House Bill 522 will be sent to the governor after a 75-37 vote.

Critics argue that the bill reaffirms the already well-known fact that the U.S. and NC Constitution should be held above other nations’ rules of law. It is also seen as sending an intolerant message to Muslim-Americans and Muslims abroad.

“It is not in our power to limit what law a court considers,” said Rep. Rick Glazier, a Fayetteville Democrat. “I believe this to be a classic separation of powers problem.”

Frank: 919-829-4870

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