Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bob Marshall’s Anti-Sharia Law Law

I don’t get it.

Though touted by some as a law that would prevent Sharia law from being applied in US courts, the bill offered by Del. Bob Marshall really doesn’t do anything to change existing law.  All it says is “no judge shall decide any issue based on foreign law except to the extent federal or state law requires or authorizes” it. (edited for brevity and ellipses deleted).

That’s exactly the way it is now.  Judges apply American law to an issue unless, under American law, a foreign law would apply.  For example, a contract between two multinational companies may state that Dutch law applies in any case between the parties.  In a suit filed in the US, an American judge would, under American law, look to the agreement of the parties and, in that case, would apply the Dutch law because it was chosen by the parties.  Seems like the same analysis would hold true in virtually every case – including those potentially involving the application of Sharia law.

What am I missing here?

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