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Florida advances Sharia ban

The state Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill to ban "foreign law"


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Jillian Rayfield
March 8, 2013 8:58PM (UTC)

Florida is once again mulling a ban on sharia law, this time passing a bill out of the state's Senate Judiciary Committee that would prevent courts from considering "foreign law" when handing down legal decisions.

From the Miami Herald:

The bill, SB 58, bans courts or other legal authorities from using religious or foreign law as a part of a legal decision or contract relating to family law. Florida law would supercede foreign law regarding divorce, alimony, the division of marital assets, child support and child custody. The bill is ready to be heard on the House floor but it has more committee stops in the Senate. Last year, the bill passed the House but died in the Senate.

The bill was introduced by state Sen. Alan Hays and state Rep. Larry Metz, both Republicans, who contend that it has nothing to do with targeting Islam. "If your law violates the constitutional rights of a Floridian, it has no business being in a Florida court," said Hays.

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Bills like this one have popped up in state legislatures across the country - including in Florida, multiple times, by the same two lawmakers. Back in 2011, neither could name an instance when a state court had used international or Islamic law to make a decision.


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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