Monday, March 24, 2014

"Anti-Sharia" law comes before Florida Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 11:34 AM

click to enlarge GOP state Senator Alan Hays.
  • GOP state Senator Alan Hays.
One of the bills that will be discussed this Tuesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Tallahassee is Senator Alan Hays' SB 386: Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases, aka the "Anti-Sharia" law.

It's the fourth year in a row that Hays has attempted to pass legislation aimed at banning the use of Sharia laws in the court system, and it's being opposed this year by the Florida Family Rights Coalition, comprised of the Anti-Defamation League, the ACLU, the Community Business Association of Florida, and Emerge USA, a grassroots organization focusing on the Muslim, Arab and South Asian American communities.

If passed, the bill would have outlawed the use of “foreign law” in family court cases.
"I would say that the bill’s sponsors themselves and all the lawyers working on this issue have yet to be able to present one issue in our Florida court system where a judge decides to overrule someone’s constitutional rights to apply a foreign law," says Laila Abdelaziz, regional director for Emerge USA. 

The proposal has come extremely close to becoming law during the past two legislative sessions. In 2012, the bill died in the Senate during the last night of session.

Abdelaziz calls the law "a vaccine to an issue that does not exist, frankly, in our court system."

While appearing before the the Civil Justice Subcommittee last week, House sponsor Alan Combee (R-Polk County) admitted when asked by Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, that aren't any Florida cases that this bill would rectify,

One of the few organizations in Florida supporting the bill is the Florida Family Association, led by Tampa's David Caton, best known for his extremely conservative view — some would call it hateful— on the LGBT community.The proposal has come extremely close to becoming law during the past two legislative sessions. In 2012, the bill died in the Senate during the last night of session.

Opponents say the bill is a piece of model legislation drawn up by noted anti-Muslim activist David Yerushalmi. Similar legislation has been enacted into law in several states, including Louisiana, Tennessee, Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, South Dakota and Oklahoma. In the Sooner state, however, a Federal Judge struck down the law, saying it violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.

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