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Bill seeks to fix what isn't broken

Oklahoman Modified: March 4, 2011 at 10:23 am •  Published: March 4, 2011

Having seen a federal judge block an effort to keep Oklahoma courts from using international or Sharia law, a member of the Legislature has come up with what she considers the perfect fix.

Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, is proposing that our courts be prohibited from enforcing all foreign laws. “The intent is that we have American laws for Oklahoma courts,” Kern said.

In fact we already have that, so this proposal is unnecessary. Of course the Sharia measure, State Question 755, was unnecessary, too, but lawmakers were only too happy to send it to a vote of the people, where it passed by a wide margin. Implementation has been held up by an Oklahoma City federal judge concerned, with good reason, about its constitutionality.

Kern's bill was approved in committee this week and is sure to be approved by the full House. After all, what's not to like about a bill that makes so much sense, right?

But members ought to consider the possible ramifications of such a bill. Richard Riggs, a business transactions attorney with McAfee & Taft, talked with The Oklahoman last fall about the possible fallout of SQ 755.

One concern was that the measure, if enacted, could create uncertainty for international parties interested in doing business with Oklahomans. “In a highly competitive environment,” Riggs said, “that uncertainty may tip the scales in favor of doing business in a state that has a more traditional view of how judicial decisions are to be made and that offers more predictable results.”

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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