Missouri U.S. Attorney: Feds Could Challenge Sharia Ban

April 29, 2011 12:17 pm

A U.S. Attorney in Missouri hinted that if the state passes a law banning Sharia law, the Department of Justice could challenge it in court.Richard Callahan, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, was speaking at a panel in front of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis Thursday night, John H. Tucker of the Riverfront Times reports, along with three FBI agents and other federal attorneys.

Callahan said that if the Missouri Sharia ban were to become law, it could be thrown out by the courts. “The Department of Justice has a good history of challenging laws passed by state legislatures,” he said. “If some laws are passed, I think you will see challenges by the federal government on the constitutionality of them.”

Last week the Missouri legislature voted 102-51 in favor of a bill that prevents the courts from considering any “foreign law, legal code, or system” when ruling on cases. The bill itself doesn’t specifically mention Sharia, but much of the debate has largely focused on it.

State Rep. Paul Curtman (R) says the bill has nothing to do with Sharia law, and is simply to “protect the fundamental rights that are guaranteed to our citizens under our founding documents.” In multiple instances, Curtman was unable to name an instance when international law was used in an American court case.

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