BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A bill to prohibit judges from applying foreign laws in their courtrooms interferes with religious freedom and unfairly targets Muslims, opponents of the measure told lawmakers Wednesday.
But Republican Rep. Kim Koppelman, the measure's primary sponsor, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that it doesn't target any religion and doesn't violate the state and U.S. constitutions. He said in an interview prior to his comments to the committee that he could not cite a specific example of a judge applying foreign laws in court.
The measure does not specifically name Sharia law, which is used in some parts of the Islamic world.
Proponents call the bill "American Laws for American Courts." More than a dozen similar measures are being considered in other states. Opponents have referred to them as anti-Sharia bills and say they are fueled by anti-Islamic sentiment.