The following editorial from the Charlotte News & Observer attacks North Carolina Reps. George Cleveland and Ric Killian for introducing HB 640. This legislation is “AN ACT TO PROTECT RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES GRANTED UNDER THE NORTH CAROLINA AND UNITED STATES CONSTITUTIONS IN THE APPLICATION OF FOREIGN LAW.
This legislation has passed its first reading and is currently in Judiciary Committee C. No corresponding legislation has been introduced in the NC Senate and the May 12th crossover deadline is fast approaching.
Don’t be misled by another “News & Observer” attempt to divert our attention. At worst, this legislation is just an affirmation of our legal system. However, this legislation is necessary to protect us from Sharia law as it it being implemented across the world to justify the introduction of Islam into our legal system.
Are the warnings from this article from CBS also just an attempt to waste our time:
The notion that Sharia law is coming to America has been percolating in the
conservative media for a while. Fox News’ Sean Hannity suggested the arrest of the
Christian missionaries in Dearborn reflected the possibility that “Sharia law is
taking over in Dearborn,” as did Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, who interviewed one of the men who was arrested.
At the Values Voters summit in September, Newt Gingrich said – to a standing
ovation – that “[w]e should have a federal law that says Sharia law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States.” He has also warned that jihadists are trying “to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of Sharia.”
I will place my trust in Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Killian instead of any “News & Observer” misdirection.
A waste of legislators’ time, and then some
You have to wonder if the staffers who draft bills at the N.C. legislature laugh or cry when people like George Cleveland and Ric Killian walk in the door.
Cleveland, a Republican from Jacksonville, and Killian, a Republican from Charlotte, are the primary sponsors of one of the more unnecessary bills the state has seen in years. The bill is political pandering that is detached from reality, wastes legislators’ time and quite possibly could cost the state jobs.
Their proposal would require that N.C. courts and other state agents not violate people’s constitutional rights by applying foreign law like Shariah when making rulings.
This is the crux of House Bill 640, which is working its way through the legislative process: “A court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator or other entity or person acting under the authority of State law shall not apply a foreign law in any legal proceeding if doing so would violate a constitutional right.”
It goes without saying that the U.S. and N.C. Constitutions and U.S. law trump any foreign law in American courts. Or so one would think.
Cleveland could not, when asked by News & Observer reporter Michael Biesecker, cite a single real-world example of foreign law infringing on anyone’s constitutional rights in U.S. courts. But he says he worries that Shariah law could gain a foothold in heavily Muslim communities.
Shariah law spells out how an observant Muslim should behave and is the basis for legal codes in some countries. And though it is not relied upon in U.S. courts, it makes a wonderful bogeyman for politicians looking to play upon people’s fears. The bill from Cleveland and Killian puts North Carolina in company with Oklahoma, which was widely scoffed at last year when voters there passed an act banning Shariah law. The N.C. bill tries to dodge legal challenges by not naming Shariah, but Cleveland said fear of Shariah is one motivation.
The bill could be worse than merely a distraction to the state’s important business. It could be a threat to job creation. Critics and a UNC expert in international law say the legislation could have unintended consequences, interfering with the state’s ability to attract foreign companies. At times like these, legislators need to be focused on improving the economy, not robbing the state of new investments in the name of battling phantom threats to justice.