Because we can’t let Oklahoma get ahead of us, state lawmakers could soon debate the “American Laws for Georgia Courts Act.” From the Fulton County Daily Report and Law.com:
House Bill 45, introduced by Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, states “it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application … will result in the violation of a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” The bill also would prevent arbitrators or tribunals from enforcing a foreign law that didn’t meet constitutional standards.
Jacobs, a lawyer and vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told the Fulton County Daily Report the bill would “ban the use of Sharia law in state courts.” He acknowledged that he was not aware of any instances in Georgia where a plaintiff or defendant asked the court to apply Sharia law but believes it has happened elsewhere.
“We’re seeing more of a feeling that Sharia law should be applied in domestic cases,” he said, such as divorces.
The chairman of the House Judiciary panel, Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, has signed on as a sponsor but hedged when asked whether he supports the bill.
“I want to see what comes up in hearings,” Willard said, to answer this question: “Does it serve a real purpose or is that standard [that federal and state laws trump foreign laws] already recognized by courts in the state?”
M. Khurram Baig, a litigator with Kumar, Prabhu, Patel & Banerjee in Atlanta and a member of the Georgia Association of Muslim Lawyers, said the answer is no: “I don’t know of any instance where foreign law has prevailed in a Georgia court ever. So why is this necessary?”
But Jacob’s isn’t the only bill on the topic. State Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, has a similar measure — SB 51.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider