Senate Bill 1360 would have restricted state courts from considering foreign laws in most cases. Authored by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, the bill was identical to HB 1209, which easily passed the House 92-24. But Hays’ bill became ensnared in a late-breaking political controversy when proponents distributed fliers and a pamphlet decrying the alleged intrusion of Islamic law into America’s courts.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations and another Muslim group, United Voices for America, condemned the leaflets, as well as the legislation – even though the bill did not specifically reference Sharia or any religious law. A delegation of Muslim and other religious leaders met with Haridopolos’ chief of staff earlier in the week to demand that Hays’ measure be postponed pending an investigation of the fliers.
Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, made no public statement about the controversy, but refused to call the bill for a vote in the waning hours of the 2012 session Friday.
Hays, who was not immediately available to comment, distributed the pamphlet entitled “Shari’ah Law: Radical Islam’s Threat to the U.S. Constitution.” Earlier, he said of his opponents: “Do these people not understand the foundation of our Constitution and freedom of speech? Where have they been?”
Update: See also “CAIR hails ‘Sharia’ victory in Florida, presses broader agenda in Congress”, Sunshine State News, 10 March 2012