WASHINGTON, DC September 2012: A vital platform plank proclaiming that foreign laws must not be used in U.S. and State courts was included in the national Republican Party platform presented on August 27, 2012 at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. The platform language is consistent with the American Laws for American Courts model law developed by the American Public Policy Alliance
The American Public Policy Alliance applauds this principled and inclusive position taken by the GOP, and urges the Democratic Party to amend its current platform with similar language at the convention this week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The platform states, in a section entitled We The People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government, under the heading American Sovereignty in U.S. Courts:
Subjecting American citizens to foreign laws is inimical to the spirit of the Constitution. … There must be no use of foreign law by U.S. courts in interpreting our Constitution and laws. Nor should foreign sources of law be used in State courts’ adjudication of criminal or civil matters.
The platform further states, in a Section entitled Reforming Government to Serve the People, under the heading Judicial Activism: A Threat To The U.S. Constitution:
The U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. Judicial Activism which includes reliance on foreign law or unratified treaties undermines American law.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy, provided a video commentary on the Republican platform position here in which he emphasized the need for this platform position, to protect all Americans from enforcement of unconstitutional foreign laws. This need has been illustrated emphatically in the Center for Security Policy’s 2011 report entitled Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases. In that report, the Center identified 50 legal cases from 23 U.S. states involving conflicts between American state laws and foreign Shariah (Islamic law) from 16 foreign countries.
The key findings: In 27 of those legal cases at the trial or appellate level, the courts ruled in favor of the foreign laws over American state laws, in spite of conflicts with the Constitution and state public policies.
Alarmingly, there are lobbyists and activists who actually want foreign Shariah law to rule in American courts. These advocates for Shariah law have found even more cases – 72 cases so far - which are posted as legal precedents by Shariah lawyer and expert witness Abed Awad, at his website promoting Sharia in America.
Fortunately, in states that pass the inclusive American Laws for America Courts bill, the courts will have clear guidance to extend constitutional due process and equal protection to all American citizens and legal residents, without regard to anyone’s religion or nation of origin.
The Republican platform plank, which was adopted unanimously without objection by the 112 delegates serving on the Platform Committee, and then adopted without objection by the delegates to the convention, was spearheaded by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who served as one of two Kansas delegates.
It was no coincidence that the Kansas delegation was at the forefront of the effort to include a plank in the party platform, as Kansas became the latest state to pass American Laws for American Courts legislation into law in May 2012. The American Laws for American Courts bill has also been enacted into law in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arizona – and never challenged in court on constitutional or any other grounds.
Secretary Kobach told former Congressman Fred Grandy on Secure Freedom Radio that the intent of his amendment was to urge all states to follow the example set by Kansas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Arizona and pass American Laws for American Courts legislation.
Stephen M. Gele, a director of the American Public Policy Alliance, stated that “the 2012 Republican Platform clearly supports the protection of American Constitutional rights from encroachment of foreign law, which is the essence of the American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) legislation. We call upon Republican State legislators and governors to honor their party platform by supporting ALAC in their states, and the Democratic Party should honor the scores of Democrats who have already voted for ALAC in state legislatures by including similar planks in the Democratic Party platform.”
The American Public Policy Alliance (APPA), a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to government transparency, government accountability and the constitutionality of U.S. and state laws and policies, is working with legislators nationwide on policies and initiatives. Along with allied organizations, APPA is working to defend free speech, preserve and promote human rights, maintain the strength of our U.S. and state constitutions, and aid and promote public safety.
One of the greatest threats to American values and liberties today comes from foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines which have been influencing our legal system at the municipal, state and federal levels. This phenomenon is known as “transnationalism” and includes the increasingly frequent appearance of Islamic Shariah law. APPA focuses largely on combating this process across a broad variety of issues.
For more information visit http://www.publicpolicyalliance.org