الجمعة، 1 أكتوبر 2010

How I Missed Sharia Law 101 in Law School - Rick Ungar - The Policy Page - Forbes

Sep. 28 2010 - 12:59 pm | 476 views | 2 recommendations | 6 comments
How I Missed Sharia Law 101 in Law School

I want my money back.

After paying a small fortune for my legal education, I now come to find out that a significant part of my training was completely omitted from the curriculum provided.

Somehow, I was never so much as offered the opportunity to learn the basics of Sharia– the system of law that, according to Newt Gingrich, is sweeping the nation’s courtrooms.

Thinking that this may have been one of those early morning classes I can’t recall due to my tendency to sleep through any course scheduled at an uncivilized hour, I went back and reviewed my law school’s offerings just to be sure.

Nothing. Not so much as an extra credit clinic for representing impoverished Muslims in a Sharia court of law.

I suppose I should be relieved that there were no questions involving this alternate legal system on the state bar exams I passed. Talk about dodging a bullet! Had there been any requirement that I needed to know Sharia law for one of the essay answers, it would have meant an empty blue book and a future career in shoe sales (not that there’s anything wrong with selling shoes.)

So unprepared am I, that only now have I discovered that the application of Sharia law in Oklahoma’s courthouses has become so entrenched that the state legislature found it necessary to pass the “Save Our State” constitutional amendment prohibiting the state’s courts from considering Islamic Sharia law in making rulings. The legislation will go before the voters on November 2, as required to confirm a change in the state’s constitution.

What if I had chosen to practice law in Oklahoma - or simply asked permission to represent a client in the Oklahoma courts from time to time? I would have been completely unprepared, no doubt raising my malpractice insurance by the thousands.

This is clearly inexcusable and something for which my law educators must be held to account.

Never mind that I cannot find so much as one Oklahoma case where a court attempted to actually apply Sharia law in place of existing state and federal codes and cases. What’s important here is that the voters support this amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution come voting day so that lawyers, such as I, will never have to deal with Sharia law continuing education courses.

This is not to say that other courts in the nation are immune from this insidious attack on America’s long established legal system.

Take, for example, a New Jersey family court judge who decided that a Moroccan woman, who had been sexually assaulted by her Moroccan husband, was not entitled to a restraining order to keep the husband away from her because the man was only following the dictates of his Islamic religious law.

In the family court’s ruling, the judge held,

The court believes that [defendant] was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.”

Via Fox News

Of course, the fact that the New Jersey Appellate Court overturned the ruling in about ten seconds or that the husband is now facing criminal trial in New Jersey for having sexually assaulted his wife, is of no consequence and should clearly not factor into our thinking on the subject.

Then there is the case of…..ah….nope… I really couldn’t find another example where an American courtroom attempted to apply Sharia law.

Still, the very legal system of our nation is in jeopardy – or so says Newt Gingrich who has called for a federal law banning Sharia law in our courtrooms despite the fact that nobody is actually using it beyond a single whacko in New Jersey who was instantly overturned at the first level of review.

“We should have a federal law that says Sharia law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States,” Gingrich said to a standing ovation from the audience. The law will let judges know, Gingrich said, that “no judge will remain in office that tried to use Sharia law.”
Via Talking Points Memo

Stupid? Yes.

A distraction from the real issues we face as a nation? Of course.

But let’s not forget what’s important here.

Newt’s ban would save me, along with my sisters and brothers in the American legal profession, from having to return to school to make up for the failings of our original education – or face draconian increases in our malpractice insurance.

So, you go Newt! And while you’re at it, I wonder if you could also get us a federal ban prohibiting the use of the ‘law of the playground’ in our court system? That’s the one where the litigant with the most marbles pretty much always gets to win.

Now that would be an improvement.

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