Florida: American Laws for American Courts advances

The Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee approved America Laws for American Courts legislation which would prohibit Sharia and other foreign laws during the committee’s March 19, 2014 meeting.

The subcommittee voted 8 to 4 in favor of HB 903 titled Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases during their Wednesday, March 18, 2014 at 9:00 am – 12 pm meeting:

Metz, Larry [R]                                            Yes
Vice Chair
Hager, Bill [R]                                              Absent
Democratic Ranking Member
Stafford, Cynthia A. [D]                           No

Clelland, Michael Philip “Mike” [D]   No
Davis, Daniel [R]                                         Yes
Goodson, Tom [R]                                     Yes
Hill, Walter Bryan “Mike” [R]              Yes
Passidomo, Kathleen C. [R]                  Yes
Rodríguez, José Javier [D]                    No
Spano, Ross [R]                                         Yes
Stone, Charlie [R]                                     Yes
Waldman, James W. “Jim” [D]           No
Young, Dana D. [R]                                  Yes

The official committee vote is posted here.

This legislation, commonly known as “American Laws for American Courts”, would prohibit Florida courts from considering certain provisions of foreign laws, including Islamic Sharia law, if such provisions are inconsistent with the Florida and United States of America Constitutions.

If Florida courts accept provisions of Islamic Sharia law or other foreign laws or legal codes which are inconsistent with American laws it will undermine public policies enacted by our representative form of government and change our value system.

Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases read in part:

Defines “foreign law, legal code, or system”; specifies public policy on application of foreign law, legal code, or system in proceedings relating to dissolution of marriage, support, time-sharing, UCCJEA, & UIFSA; provides that certain decisions rendered under such laws, codes, or systems are void; provides that certain contracts & contract provisions are void; provides for construction of waiver by natural person of person’s fundamental liberties, rights, & privileges guaranteed by state or federal constitutions; provides that claims of forum non conveniens or related claims must be denied; provides that act doesn’t require or authorize court to adjudicate, or prohibit any religious organization from adjudicating, ecclesiastical matters in violation of specified constitutional provisions or to conflict with any federal treaty or other international agreement to which U.S. is party to specified extent.

Full text of HB 903.

The House Judiciary Committee is the next committee with the assigned role of hearing HB 903 – Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases.The Senate companion SB 386 has not been scheduled for hearing yet.  Florida Family Association will send out an email alert as soon as this legislation is scheduled by another committee in either chambers.