A clever political decision just infuriated many Muslim groups. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has put his signature on a law that would ban Shariah law and different forms of foreign law from being considered in Texas courts.
Texas House Bill 45 — best known as the “American Laws for American Courts” law — would demand the “Texas Supreme Court to adopt rules and provide judicial instruction regarding the application of foreign laws in certain family law cases.”
It notes that “litigants in actions under the Family Code involving a marriage relationship or a parent-child relationship are protected against violations of constitutional rights and public policy in the application of foreign law and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards by courts of this state by a well-established body of law.”
This basically means that in cases that include divorces, child custody, child support or other family disputes, foreign law — including Shariah — cannot be taken into account. Priorly, stater the law’s author, Republican state Rep. Dan Flynn, spouses could enter into deals that would be under a foreign law.
“My colleagues and I here at the Texas Legislature want to make sure Texas judges never apply foreign law in Texas courts in violation of constitutional rights and the public policy of our state,” Flynn stater, as reported by Breitbart.
The law doesn’t speak of any concrete code by name, but merely says that foreign law is “a law, rule, or code of a jurisdiction outside of the states and territories of the United States.” It continues to say that U.S. law and Texas law is the only law of the region.
On the other hand, the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement noting that HB 45 “is designed to negatively impact Muslims’ civil rights and to demonize their faith. We believe it aims to prevent Muslims from practicing their faith in areas such as Islamic marriage, divorce, funeral procedures and civil agreements.”
The Islamic Tribunal’s website states that “(s)imilar religious tribunals have existed for decades in the American Jewish and American Christian faith communities to resolve disputes, most especially within families. These religious tribunals are optional arbitration vehicles that only conduct their work when requested to do so by both parties involved in a dispute, do not attempt to impose any belief system upon any individual and work in compliance with State of Texas and US law under the United States Constitution.”