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Sharia law proposal, Constitution didn't jibe

by J.E. McReynolds Modified: August 17, 2013 at 9:20 am •  Published: August 17, 2013

A pointless but popular law is on the cutting room floor today. Solid arguments against its passage in 2010 failed to convince voters that State Question 755 was indefensible.

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange has voided SQ 755, which was an attempt to circumvent application of Sharia law in Oklahoma. The measure passed with 70 percent of the vote. A legal challenge was filed days after the election. Miles-LaGrange enjoined the law from taking effect until the case was adjudicated.

Thus, SQ 755 never actually became law. From the time it was passed until Thursday’s ruling from Miles-LaGrange, here is the number of attempts to apply Sharia law in Oklahoma: zero.

The constitutional questions upon which the challenge to SQ 755 was made didn’t relate to Sharia law applications. They related to the constitutional rights of the plaintiff. This will be seen by SQ 755 supporters as judicial activism, a federal judge’s move to impose on the people her own dislike of the measure. Not true.

SQ 755 was unconstitutional on its face. It was clear it would be challenged and cost the state precious resources to defend it. Those costs would continue if state officials choose to appeal. We urge them to let it go.

Supporters won’t let it go, however. They will lament that a judge overturned the will of the people. But our system allows voters to make laws as long as they stay within consitutional guidelines. This one did not.

by J.E. McReynolds
Opinion Editor
J.E. McReynolds is Opinion editor at The Oklahoman and has worked for the newspaper’s Opinion section since 1995. He joined The Oklahoman as business editor in 1985 and was previously managing editor of The Journal Record. A native Oklahoman,...
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