A panel of federal judges has ruled that states cannot protect their courts from jurists who base their decisions on international or Koranic law. America needs better judges.
On Tuesday, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal district court order blocking implementation of an amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that sought to ban judges from using international or Muslim law as a basis for deciding cases. The amendment was approved in November 2010 by a 70 percent popular vote but has never been enforced. Plaintiff Muneer Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), argued that the amendment infringed on his First Amendment rights. The appeals court agreed.
It should be obvious that judges shouldn't look outside the laws and traditions of their jurisdictions when deciding cases, but in the liberal judicial-activist framework, anything goes. Whether it's the latest thinking from the United Nations or Muslim activists, the currently fashionable, best-selling dogma of social science or simply random emanations of penumbrae, the modern activist jurist doesn't feel bound by stuffy conventions like a literal reading of the law, the intent of the legislature that passed it or the hoary old hand of precedent. Indeed, judicial activists only value precedent when they read a novel doctrine into case law and then demand it be given reverence by all who follow.