Group encourages Gov. Fallin to sign legislation banning foreign law precedents

OKLAHOMA CITY-  The bipartisan Counterterrorism Caucus in the Oklahom Legislature is encouraging Gov. Mary Fallin to sign legislation that would prohibit application of foreign laws when such precedents violate the state or federal constitutions.

House Bill 1060 passed this week on a vote of 85-7, after gaining 40-3 support in the state Senate. 

Frank Gaffney, former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan Administration, met with Gov. Fallin on April 12 (Friday) and encouraged her to sign the bill. Gaffney runs the Center of Security Policy, based in Washington, D.C. In an interview with CapitolBeatOK, he described the movement to advance Islamic law (Sharia) as “subversive, highly disciplined and muscular.”

The advance of such law, Gaffney said, is part of a long-term plan by the Muslim Brotherhood, which originated in Egypt (where its political arm now governs), to pull the world away from western-style democracy toward a radically different form of law.

Gaffney was known in the Reagan administration for his advocacy of a strong national defense and close ties to the nation of Israel. He has written widely on Middle East policy issues since leaving the government. 

State Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, noted that past efforts to limit or ban the use of foreign legal precedents in Oklahoma courts were challenged because of their specificity. 

In a statement to CapitolBeatOK, Rep. Kern said, “The courts ruled against State Question 755 because it singled out Sharia law. 

“Our intent with this bill is to use language similar to that of legislation in Tennessee, Kansas, Arizona and Louisiana, all of which passed without any court challenges. Voters approved the state question by a margin of 70 percent. If Gov. Mary Fallin signs this bill into law, she will be following the overwhelming will of the people of Oklahoma.”

In addition to his discussion with the state’s chief executive, Gaffney met with Oklahoma legislators and pro-Israel activists during his visit to the Sooner State. He also spoke with reporters in a state Capitol press briefing. 

Gaffney’s discussions at the Capitol came on the eve of the seventh annual awards banquet for the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Speakers at Saturday’s dinner (/2013/04/cair-annual-banquet-focuses-on-theme-upholding-our-constitution-defending-our-faith/) include Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Outreach Director, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, VA; Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director ACLU of Oklahoma; and Imam Imad Enchassi of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City.

CAIR leaders have frequently expressed opposition to laws such as H.B. 1060, and opposed implementation of State Question 755 after the 2010 election. 

Pressing for H.B. 1060, and stressing its applicability to any use of foreign legal precedents in American law, are state Reps. Kern, Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia, and Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, along with allies in both parties. 

You may contact Patrick B. McGuigan at and follow us on Twitter: @capitolbeatok.