Amendment could be bad for business By Dan Loeffler

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First appeared in The Journal Record - November 11, 2010.

Last week, Oklahoma voters passed State Question 755, which would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to forbid Oklahoma courts from “looking to” or “considering” the laws of other nations or cultures, including Sharia law. This week, a federal court in Oklahoma City issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the amendment from taking effect for two weeks, when the court will hear arguments on whether a more permanent injunction should be issued. The lawsuit and public debate about the amendment have so far focused on politically controversial aspects about the First Amendment, Islam and Islamic culture, and Sharia law.

What has largely been lost in that debate is that the amendment also purports to ban our courts’ consideration of “the legal precepts of other nations or cultures” and “international law,” as well as the laws of other states, if the laws of other states include Sharia law. These provisions could have significant, adverse consequences, particularly for businesses. To see why, consider a few examples of legal matters that occur routinely in our state in a business context.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney: Dan Loeffler.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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