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It's Back: Anti-Sharia Law Measure Resurfaces at Idaho Legislature

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IDAHO LEGISLATURE
  • Idaho Legislature
The debate over Sharia law is heading for another Idaho Statehouse debate.

Rep. Eric Redman (R-Post Falls) returned Wednesday morning to the House State Affairs Committee to propose a measure that would ban Sharia (a.k.a. Islamic) law based on fears it could supersede the U.S. or Idaho constitutions.

"State legislators have a role to play in preserving our constitutional rights and value of liberty," said Redman, before launching into a history lesson on why the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were crafted.

"We declared ourselves to be free of the clutches of a foreign power," he said.

Redman fronted a similar measure in 2016, which failed in committee. Other states have passed anti-Sharia bills—many, like Redman's, based on a template from the nonprofit American Public Policy Alliance, which advocates against foreign laws making their way in the U.S. legal system.

"Yes, there are many states that have enacted this," Redman said, though he did not mention his measure had been taken from model legislation crafted by the American Public Policy Alliance.

Last year's proposal, which was the first bill Redman had ever introduced as a lawmaker, received a public hearing in the State Affairs Committee but was held for amendments and never made it to the House floor.

"Last year, you brought a similar bill that had significantly negative impacts on existing trade laws," argued Rep. Paulette Jordan (D-Plummer).

"I would have some disagreement with you in regard to trade laws," said Redman, who is serving his third term representing District 2. "I assure you that this would not overreach U.S. treaties."

Eventually, House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane (R-Nampa) said, "I think this is a topic that probably merits a discussion. I think, for sure, that there are a number of individuals who would like to give their opinion on this."

The committee voted along party lines to move the measure to a full hearing before the State Affairs panel at a future date.


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