By the count of the National Conference of State Legislatures, two dozen states this year, including Florida, considered proposals to bar any use of foreign laws in their courts. If you think this would be a debate only for legal scholars, think again. It was among the more controversial issues this year in Tallahassee.

Some backers of these bills argue they're needed to stop Shariah law, the legal code of Islam, from infiltrating American courts and threatening freedoms. Opponents insist Shariah is not a danger to U.S. laws or rights, and bans are only meant to stoke fear and mistrust of Muslims

The Florida bill made no reference to Shariah; it ruled out any application of foreign law to domestic cases, such as divorces, where it would violate constitutional rights. It did, however, include passages from model legislation drafted by a leading national critic of Shariah.

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