On Election Day 2010, Oklahoma voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution that banned the recognition of Islamic religious law and customs, known as Sharia, by state courts. After the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the amendment on the grounds that it was discriminatory, proponents pushing the proposal in other states removed references to Islam and refocused the legislation to ban foreign law. Over the last two years, lawmakers in 32 states have introduced and debated bills outlawing religious, foreign, or international law. Six states have passed such bans, and five more are poised to pass similar measures this and next year.
The Brennan Center for Justice and the Center for American Progress invite you to join a conversation examining the roots of this movement and the unintended consequences of foreign law bans. Experts will discuss how the current wave of foreign law bans upends the carefully calibrated methods that American courts use to decide whether to apply foreign law, as well as the legal uncertainties these bans could create for families, businesses, and people of all faiths.
Daniel Mach, Director, Freedom of Religion and Belief Program, American Civil Liberties Union
Faiza Patel, Co-Director, Liberty & National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
Matthew Schmitz, Deputy Editor, First Things Magazine
Ed Swaine, Professor of Law, George Washington School of Law
Matthew Duss, Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress