Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed a bill that would have banned Sharia and other foreign laws from being used in Montana courts, saying Thursday that the measure would “upend our legal system and debase what we stand for as Montanans and Americans.”
Bullock is afraid it will increase hate crimes though there is little evidence that is an increasing problem.
Montana was one of the 13 states considering legislation seeking to prevent the use of foreign law in state courts. While the bill’s focus was not on Sharia law, some supporters specifically spoke out against the religious law used in some parts of the Islamic world.
Some Republicans joined with Democrats against the measure but it still made it to Bullock.
“There is absolutely no need for this bill,” Bullock wrote in his veto message, adding that the proposal could add to the “nationwide surge in hate crimes.”
Bullock said he was disturbed that the ban, if he had signed it, could have been seen as an “endorsement for anti-Muslim sentiments and activity.”
The Constitution should already ban it but some are concerned that liberals and leftists see the Constitution as a “living” document. Sharia courts have been allowed to function in some European countries and it has been recommended by some so-called liberals in the United States.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) argued in a similar Oklahoma case that the measure violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution forbidding the government from favoring one religion over another. That law specifically mentioned Sharia however.
Some are concerned about the growing political power of Muslims and the potential for forcing Sharia in at some point. Montana has only a .5% Muslim population, up from .3 in 2010.
On the other hand, Muslims in the United States have more DNC delegates than Montana, Utah, and Oklahoma together. That makes their voice more important than the delegates of those three states. Something to think about.
CNS News had a piece on it in March. The bill’s sponsor, state Senator Keith Regier (R-Kalispell) insists that his intent is to protect the fundamental liberties of Montana citizens by forbidding the use of foreign laws in state courts.
Sandy Montgomery, a constituent of Regier’s, defended the measure, calling it “long overdue.”
“We have allowed legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, and now refugees to take advantage of our law and our culture and to take up their own agendas,” she said. “They have no intention to abide by our laws nor are they interested in assimilating into our culture.”
Another person, Sandy Bradford of Helena sees Islam as a political ideology. “It is my opinion that Islam is not a peaceful religion,” said Bradford. “In fact Islam is not a religion at all but rather an ideology. Islam in my opinion is an enemy to all. But especially to women.”
Perhaps the issue is education, not banning?
Some politicians like Maxine Waters, believe the Constitution and Sharia are mutually compatible though of course they can’t be.