The Edmond Sun

Local News

April 11, 2011

SQ 755 follow-up bill dies in committee

Muslim leaders decry legislative attempt

OKLAHOMA CITY — Legislation seeking to enact provisions of State Question 755 has died in a Senate committee, a lawmaker said Monday.

Last fall, 695,650 voters, 70 percent of the total, cast votes for SQ 755, which amends the state Constitution to forbid judges from considering Islamic principles or international law when deciding a case.

In November, an Oklahoma federal judge granted a temporary restraining order blocking certification of SQ 755 by the State Election Board. The lawsuit is being appealed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

State Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, is the author of House Bill 1552, which would ban the use of foreign law in Oklahoma courts.

The bill stated that any court action will be “void and unenforceable” if the decision is based “on any law, rule, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges granted under the United States and Oklahoma Constitutions.”

On Feb. 28, HB 1552 was passed 10-3 by the House Judiciary Committee. Last month, the bill passed 76-3 in the House.

State Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, said last Wednesday was the deadline for bills decided by the Senate Rules Committee, and he commended committee chairman Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher, for not bringing the bill up in committee due to concerns about its constitutionality.  

Moderate committee members are attempting to keep the state from the frivolous lawsuits that would be filed if the bill became law, Rice said.

Kern and others on the far right disregard the affects certain pieces of legislation like this would have on Oklahoma’s various religious groups and on the state’s business community, Rice said.

“As someone here in the city in a very diverse district I’m concerned about the message it keeps sending outside the borders,” Rice said, citing groups opposed to the bill. “It’s a non-issue. It’s not happening. It’s meant just to sort of gin up anxiety and fear, and it’s too bad it’s going on at the Capitol.”

Efforts to reach Kern for comment were not successful Monday.

In a previous report, Kern said the bill is similar to SQ 755 and it was needed to address some of the legal issues used to challenge the measure.

Based on knowledge that HB 1552 would be up for a vote in the Senate Rules Committee this week, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights organization, called Monday’s press conference to express opposition.

Muneer Awad, executive director of CAIR-OK, said Kern’s bill violates the Bill of Rights and would threaten all international business contracts and companies in Oklahoma.

Rice said the bill could still be brought up as an amendment to a bill on the Senate floor, which would cause more constitutional issues because of the single subject rule.

“I imagine that there will be some antics in the House to try and revive it,” he said. “Hopefully there will be enough of a coalition of legislators here to resist them.”

Supporters of SQ 755 have said the change was needed to stem a trend of activist judges turning to international law to make decisions. Ex-state Sen. Rex Duncan, author of the proposition, cited the affects of Sharia law on places like Great Britain. Duncan called it a “cancer upon Great Britain’s survivability.”

Awad said Sharia is like a map for how to be a Muslim. American Muslims are abiding by U.S. laws and by Sharia, he said. Oklahoma Muslims have experienced some angst due to SQ 755, but mostly feel comfortable and welcome, he said.

Awad said CAIR-OK will continue to monitor the legislative process and be on the watch for attempts to revive the bill.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

1
Text Only
Local News
  • north 1.jpg U.S. News ranks city high schools in state’s Top 10

    All three Edmond high schools are ranked among the Top 10 in the state in a prestigious national list.
    U.S. News & World Report, which publishes annual rankings, ranked Edmond North No. 3 in Oklahoma and No. 437 nationwide. Memorial ranked No. 6 in Oklahoma and No. 847 nationwide. Santa Fe ranked No. 8 in Oklahoma and No. 1,075 nationwide.
    “This recognition serves as validation for our students, parents and staff members at all levels who work together relentlessly in pursuit of academic excellence, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • OC expands to 5 academic colleges

    Oklahoma Christian University will expand from three to five colleges beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
    OC’s five academic colleges will be the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural and Health Sciences.
    “Our academic and leadership teams have been planning, praying and discussing how to build on OC’s legacy of exceptional success in science, engineering and business,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Our new colleges will focus on growth in these areas and implement strategic planning to help us serve more students.”

    April 23, 2014

  • N Front Door 3.jpg FBI seeks suspect in robbery of local bank

    Police and FBI agents are investigating the robbery of a local bank by a suspect wearing a fake mustache and goatee, a spokesman said.
    FBI Special Agent Martinus McConnell said the robbery occurred Tuesday morning at the Arvest Bank, 2025 Sonoma Park, Edmond.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ekso 1.jpg Deer Creek students see bionic suit in action

    In 2010, a car accident left Guthrie resident Mary Beth Davis paralyzed from the waist down.
    In a few weeks, thanks to INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, determination and an Ekso Bionics suit, she will be walking across a stage to receive a college diploma from Oklahoma State University.
    Wednesday afternoon, Davis was at Deer Creek Middle School where students of teacher Jamie Brehm got to see Davis and the suit in action and learn about how it helps people live a fuller life.
    Brehm said the opportunity to have the demonstration fit perfectly with the testing schedule. Brehm said a bonus was having Davis with her inspirational story come to the school. In addition to graduating soon, Davis lives an independent life and she was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • clock edit.jpg Antique clock collection on display at Edmond Library

    In a world that’s often hurried and brief, the Sooner Time Collectors have nothing but time. Oklahoma chapter members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors have provided antique pieces from personal collections to display at the Edmond Library until the end of April.
    Since the 1950s, Sooner Time Collectors have gathered to learn about the inner workings of clocks and to admire one-of-a-kind finds. Of interest to the community is their involvement with repairs for the Cowboy Hall of Fame clock and the UCO tower. They now have 35 members who meet monthly as a chapter of the 16,000-member NAWCC community across America and the world.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Be on the lookout for termites

    Warming temperatures and spring rainfall means swarming conditions for the homeowners’ nemesis in Oklahoma — the termite.
    Termites are Mother Nature’s way of recycling dead wood, as well as aerating the soil and increasing its fertility and water percolation. They are an important food source for other insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians and birds within the food web, and they are essential for the wellbeing of the environment.

    April 23, 2014

  • Betz handprint.jpg Central students organize ‘Take Back the Night’ to end sexual violence

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s National Organization for Women (UCO-NOW), Institute of Hope and the Violence Prevention Project will host a Take Back the Night (TBTN) march and rally to end violence, beginning 7 p.m. May 1 in Pegasus Theater in Central’s Liberal Arts building.
    TBTN events date back to the early 1970s and focus on eliminating sexual violence in all forms. Thousands of colleges, universities, women’s centers and rape crisis centers have sponsored TBTN marches throughout the country.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • suspect 1 Police investigate more home burglaries in Edmond

    Residents have reported an additional seven home burglaries to the Edmond Police Department the day after an equal number occurred, according to city records.
    Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said a detective is investigating the new incidents reported during the day on Tuesday. Monroe said similarities in them lead the agency to believe they are connected.
    Tuesday’s reported burglaries occurred in different areas including near the Covell-Coltrane intersection and south of 15th Street along Santa Fe. According to city records, they were reported at:

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • earth day 7.jpg Central community learns about water conservation

    Edmond residents know about rain that falls from their roofs after a storm. Some may not know what kind of important role it plays in the nation’s water supply.
    Tim Tillman, the University of Central Oklahoma’s sustainability coordinator, said UCO has a tradition of innovation in sustainable practices. Tillman said Earth Day, first brought to the campus more than 20 years ago, began that tradition.
    During Tuesday’s Earth Day Fair, Jason Summers, a Coca-Cola account manager for on-premise sales, was giving away rain barrels and educating members of the Central Oklahoma community about the benefits of rain barrels.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • pic 2.JPG Energy secretary touts CNG fleet conversion

    Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague said the state is leading the way in converting its fleet of vehicles to run on compressed natural gas.
    And, he adds, the state is working to get federal officials engaged in moving its fleet of vehicles in Oklahoma to use CNG.
    Teague made those statements Tuesday during a visit to Champion CNG, 13915 N. Harvey Ave. in Edmond. The visit also coincided with Earth Day.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes
Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results