The state House Judiciary Committee sent a bill to the House floor today, even though no one – not even the sponsor – could come up with any evidence that it’s needed.
House Bill 640, sponsored by Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, would, according to the bill analysis, “prohibit the application or enforcement of a foreign law in a legal proceeding if doing so would violate a right granted by the North Carolina or United States constitutions.” It would also nullify provisions in contracts or agreements “calling for the application of foreign law or choosing a foreign venue…if it violated a constitutional right of a party.”
The first version of the legislation was passed by ballot initiative in Oklahoma. It specifically named Sharia, and was promptly blocked by a judge, who declared that unconstitutional.
Since then, newer versions of the measure in states from Arkansas and Texas to Indiana and Alaska have been more carefully worded. Cleveland’s version makes no mention of religion at all, and it wasn’t mentioned in committee.
But House Minority Leader Joe Hackney has no doubt. “It’s about sharia,” he said “It’s part of the far-right agenda. The extreme far right agenda.”