Missouri House approves bill limiting use of foreign law in courts.
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Missouri House approves bill limiting use of foreign law in courts.

Date: April 19, 2011
By: Elizabeth Hagedorn
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 708 and the rollcall.

Intro: 
The Missouri House gave first-round approval Tuesday to a measure restricting the use of foreign law, including Sharia, in state courts.
RunTime:  0:47
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: 

The bill's Republican sponsor says Missourians should be governed by United States law and not foreign law which may deny them of their fundamental rights.   

But St. Louis Democratic Representative Jamilah Nasheed points out that the Constitution already trumps foreign laws.

Actuality:  NASHED15.WAV
Run Time:  00:06
Description: "Are we using foreign laws here in the United States of America or are we using the United States consitution?"

Nasheed asked to see cases of where international law had been used in court decisions.

But Republicans couldn't provide her with any.  

The bill needs a vote in the House before reaching the Senate.

From the state Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Hagedorn.

Intro: 
The Missouri House gave first-round approval Tuesday to a bill some Democrats call an attack on Islamic law.
RunTime:  0:44
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap:  Eastern Missouri Republican Paul Curtman says state courts shouldn't make decisions based on foreign or religous laws.

Opponents question if the bill is even necessary.

St. Louis Democratic representative Jamilah Nasheed says the bill targets Muslims and is a waste of time.

Actuality:  NASHED14.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: This bill will go to court and you are wasting your ink on this paper. Because this will not be upheld in court. You're wasting your time gentleman. You're wasting your time in this body.

The vote comes a week after the ACLU sponsored Muslim Day at the statehouse in response to the bill.

It needs a final vote in the House before reaching the Senate.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Hagedorn.
Intro: 
The Missouri House gave first-round approval Tuesday a measure limiting the use of foreign law, including Sharia, in state courts.
RunTime:  0:44
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: 

The bill's sponsor, Eastern Missouri Republican Paul Curtman, says he's looking to ensure Missourians are guaranteed rights which may not be protected under another country's laws.

But St. Louis Democrat Susan Carlson says the measure would interfere with companies that engage in international business.

Actuality:  CARLSON1.WAV
Run Time:  00:06
Description: "It's going to make our companies spend more money and more time and not get the results that they bargained for."

Carlson says that it's the right of businesses to enter into contracts with whomever they want.  

Many argue the U.S. Constitution trumps any kind of foreign law so this bill doesn't matter anyway.

The bill's sponsor couldn't provide opponents with cases where foreign law had been used in the past.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Hagedorn.

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