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Court strikes Oklahoma ban on Shariah law

(JTA) — A federal appeals court has ruled as unconstitutional the state of Oklahoma’s ban on judges considering Islamic law in deciding cases.

The law to prevent Shariah law from being used in the state was struck down Tuesday by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oklahoma voters had approved the ban in 2010, but a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the law last year before it could take effect.

The appeals court judges said in their opinion that the ban violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

No Oklahoma court has ever applied Shariah law to an opinion, according to reports. The ban did not apply to federal courts in Oklahoma. Legal experts say that banning Shariah law is superfluous, as there is no mechanism by which any foreign criminal or civil code can trump U.S. laws.

Jewish groups opposing the law include the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League,  Agudath Israel of America and the Orthodox Union. Jewish law, or halachah, has been considered in U.S. courts in deciding cases.
 

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