Christian News Network
August 18, 2013
A federal judge in Oklahoma City has thrown out the state’s ban on the use of Sharia law in government, opining that the restriction violates the United States Constitution.
The ban had been approved at the polls in 2010, and passed with the support of more than 70% of voters. However, just two days after the ban was approved as a state constitutional amendment, Muneer Awad, the then-director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed suit in federal court through the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), claiming that the law violated the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment.
He was granted a temporary injunction days later, which was later upheld by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Thursday, Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994, placed a permanent injunction against the ban, declaring it to be unconstitutional.
“While the public has an interest in the will of the voters being carried out, the court finds that the public has a more profound and long-term interest in upholding an individual’s constitutional rights,” she wrote. “[F]or the same reasons set forth by the Tenth Circuit, the court finds that defendants have failed to assert a compelling state interest and have, therefore, failed to satisfy strict scrutiny.”
Miles-LaGrange said that because Sharia law is not being imposed on the state at the time, it is not currently a threat to Oklahoma residents.
“[A]ny harm that would result from permanently enjoining the certification of the election results is further minimized in light of the undisputed fact that the amendment at issue was to be a preventative measure and that the concern that it seeks to address has yet to occur,” she stated.