Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Oklahoma’s Sharia Ban


A federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order against an amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that would prohibit courts from considering Sharia or international law.

The Sharia ban passed as a ballot measure in last week’s election, in a vote of 70 percent to 30 percent. Without the injunction, which bars the state board of elections from certifying the results, the amendment was expected to go into effect tomorrow.The lawsuit was brought by Muneer Awad, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma chapter. In his lawsuit, Awad argues that the law violates his First Amendment rights by creating an “official disapproval of his faith” embedded in the state constitution. He also argues that the ban would make it impossible for his family to carry out his will, much of which is based on Islam.

“We’re satisfied, temporarily,” Awad told TPMmuckraker today after the hearing.

The injunction is temporary pending another hearing on Nov. 22.

The assistant attorney general of Oklahoma, who is defending the state board of elections in the suit, did not respond to a request for comment.

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