Richael Faithful, TMA's EIC, here.
The Jurist reported that last night Oklahoma voters approved a state constitutional amendment, which bans the use of Islamic Law and international law in state court decisions.
A little more detail can be found here. And CNN has extensively covered this story here and views of legal experts can be found here.
The referendum approval is shocking on several levels. On a practical level, as pointed out in the latter link about legal scholars' reactions, is that the ban on the use of international law and the imposition of certain English-only requirements will prove hard for courts, which deal with multi-national and international issues all of the time. Like business law, for example.
I've also taken Islamic Law at American University; although sparingly applied by American courts, Islamic law is sometimes the most sensible law to apply from a choice-of-law perspective. Mainly, Islamic law, for the most part, addresses family law-like issues, and sometimes, litigating parties may prefer its application. Though admittedly sensitive, the application of Islamic law in American courts, is a perfectly sound rational and legal approach.
Of course, on a cultural level, this development is heartbreaking, from the view that Islamphobia has reached such a fervor in "middle America." I don't have much to say other than, "ugh."
If you are interested the intersection of Islamophobia and First Amendment rights, we'll have a special commentary on this subject in our fall issue slated for early December publication.
Thanks for reading.
Update: Nov. 4, Advocacy group files suit against Oklahoma: http://www.theroot.com/buzz/muslim-group-sue-oklahoma-over-sharia-law-amendment