Efforts To Discriminate Against Muslims Dragging Others Into The Mix Accidentally

Another one to remember next time conservatives start wondering why Jews are liberal, is this story about how conservative passion for discriminating against Muslims winds up stepping on the toes of Jewish groups as well:

House Bill 45, introduced by Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, states “it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application … will result in the violation of a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States.” The bill also would prevent arbitrators or tribunals from enforcing a foreign law that didn’t meet constitutional standards.

Jacobs, a lawyer and vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told the Fulton County Daily Report the bill would “ban the use of Sharia law in state courts.” He acknowledged that he was not aware of any instances in Georgia where a plaintiff or defendant asked the court to apply Sharia law but believes it has happened elsewhere.


A bigger problem, [Michael Broyd, director of Emory University’s law and religion program] added, is that the bill “violates the Federal Arbitration Act and becomes an unconstitutional exercise of state authority.”

“Arbitration is a routine business exercise by people who are prepared to sacrifice some of their constitutional rights in return for reduced cost and expediency,” said Broyde, who also is an ordained rabbi and member of the Beth Din of America — the largest Jewish law court in the country.

The punchline is that obviously the bigots in question have no particular interest in restricting Jewish practice, nor is there any real principle at work here, they’re just trying to discriminate against Muslims:

Jacobs said he’s hoping to resolve any perceived problems in Judiciary Committee meetings.

“I’m certainly willing to hear from practitioners who have concerns about specific applications of the bill as it is introduced.”

Not super-closely related, but it seems to me that many Americans of Christian ancestry, both those who are observant and those who aren’t, tend to walk around blind to the extent to which Christian religious law influences American public policy. The United States Postal Services delivers mail 6 days a week, and it’s not a coincidence which day is the exception. The calendar of federal holidays celebrates four individuals, three of whom (Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and Martin Luther King) are major figures in American history and it’s not a coincidence who the forth one is.