November 8, 2010 - A federal judge in Oklahoma today temporarily blocked an anti-Islam state ballot measure (officially known as SQ 755) that would have amended that state's constitution to forbid judges from considering Islamic principles (Shariah) or international law when making a ruling.
U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of the United States District Court -- Western District of Oklahoma granted a temporary restraining order blocking certification of the November 2nd passed ballot measure by the Oklahoma State Board of Elections.
The court ruling came one day before the certification of the election results. If the voting result is certified on November 9, the measure would amend the Oklahoma state constitution to forbid judges from considering Islamic principles (Shariah) or international law to guide their decisions.
Judge Miles-LaGrange also scheduled a hearing on November 22 for arguments as to whether she should grant a preliminary injunction that would extend the restraining order until a final determination is made in the case.
On November 4, Muneer Awad, executive director of CAIR's Oklahoma chapter (CAIR-OK), filed a lawsuit as an individual challenging the constitutionality of the ballot measure.
Awad's lawsuit said SQ 755 violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause that bars government bodies from making laws "respecting the establishment of religion."
"Today's ruling is a reminder of the strength of our nation's legal system and the protections it grants to religious minorities," Awad told a news conference in Oklahoma City. "We are humbled by this opportunity to show our fellow Oklahomans that Muslims are their neighbors and that we are committed to upholding the U.S. Constitution and promoting the benefits of a pluralistic society."
The CAIR lawsuit argued that the ballot measure will infringe on the constitutional rights of ordinary Oklahomans in their daily lives -- including the right to wear religious head scarves, choose Islamic marriage contracts or to be buried according to one's religious beliefs.
Read earlier story:Oklahoma 's anti-Islam ballot measure challenged as un-constitutional