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August 30th, 2012, 03:10
If these guys were serious about preventing the use of other forms of law over state, federal, and constitutional law they could do so by wording it as follows:

"In the event of any conflict between the U.S. Constitution or the constitution of this state, on the one hand, and the laws or requirements of any religion or any foreign laws, on the other hand, in its rulings, the courts of this state shall rely solely on the federal and state constitutions and U.S. law."

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_19770003

If they unnecessarily single out Sharia law within the text of the law when they bring it to the table then you know they're not serious and merely performing a political stunt and scaremongering. The wording of the Texas Republican Platform point regarding this could be interpreted to mean they intend any of the following.

1) prohibit any substitute or parallel law except in accordance with US and state constitution

I don't have a problem with this; it does not create problems regarding international treaties as those fall under US constitutional authority. It does not single out any individual religion and would seem to expressly provide protection against any religious doctrine being applied in substitution of US and state law. This would seem to provide some of the protections generally interpreted under the 1st ammendment less ambigiously - at least within courts.

2) The above but including emphasis regarding international law and specifically sharia law within the text of the bill.


This would indicate more political showmanship as it introduces potential challenges to the bill under the Texas constitution, federal law, and the US constitution. You can argue whether you you agree with that precedent or not, but the language of emphasis need not be there to acheive the effect. Beyond its potential usefulness in scoring political points, the singling out of Sharia law serves only to strengthen challenges to the bill given precendent.

3) The above but JUST applying to international law and singling out Sharia law specifically.

Again, this is designed to fail and meant as a stunt. Additionally this stunt would be crafted so that members voting for it might be able to maintain claims of holding another religious doctrine or text to be supreme above state and US laws. Where they to vote for the above options they might argue that this would be to admit that in legal matters the US and Texas law and constitutions were the only applicable laws when in contradiction to their own particular religious creed, text or doctrine. For example, this would be the only option that might be acceptable to those who insist upon the supremacy of the the Bible over all Earthly law and did not wish to be seen as voting contrary to that. I think this does help to illustrate how this particular formulation would be the most unlikely and could also be seen as the most obviously easily defeated and therefore non-serious attempt to make law and more serious attempt to make news.
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