19 June 2017 at 06:50 BST

Texas enacts 'anti-Sharia' law

Texas has signed into law House Bill 45, known as American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) prohibiting the use of any foreign law in the state's courts, specifically in family cases that involve marriage or parent-child relationship matters.

Sean Pavone

One of the bill’s co-authors Representative Jeff Leach called the law ‘vitally important…to further safeguard and protect our Constitutional rights.' Dan Flynn recently stated that foreign law is often applied in Texas cases concerning divorce orders, child support and property settlements. He said that sometime spouses enter into agreements to have foreign law applied to their disputes. ‘My colleagues and I here at the Texas Legislature want to make sure Texas judges never apply foreign law in Texas courts in violation of constitutional rights and the public policy of our state,’  Mr Flynn said.

Prevents state judges applying foreign laws

Under HB 45, Texas and US law supersede all other laws and prevents state judges from applying any foreign law because it infringes upon US and Texas constitutional rights. However, the Texas chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called HB 45 anti-Sharia law and lobbied for the state’s Muslim community to oppose the bill. ‘We believe it prevents Muslims from practicing their faith in areas such as Islamic marriage, divorce, funeral procedures, and civil agreements.’

Twelfth state to adopt rules

HB 45 requires the Texas Supreme Court adopt its rules by the first of January, 2018. The law goes into effect on 1 September, making Texas the twelfth state to enact ALAC. The other states are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington.


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