Montana senate prohibits courts from applying sharia law

Montana state senator Keith Regier on the day the capitol slid into Idaho

Sharia law: It’s out there, alternately oppressing women and strengthening terrorists, probably. Even as we speak, communities around the world in one part of the world apply this code of religious governance derived from the sacred texts of Islam. Imams and muftis use sharia law to resolve among their parishioners, much as rabbis and pastors do with the Judeo-Christian tradition. And in the same way that Lutherans who study abroad in China immediately begin trying to replace that country’s legal system with what their minister said, Muslims who immigrate to the United States set about enforcing sharia law. Take it from Gina Satterfield of Helena:

We as a nation and state do not have to wait as a forced host to witness the growing population for this foreign law to implement its totalitarian system.

That Markov chain of Palin-style main ideas came when Satterfield testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of SB97, a bill from Keith Regier (R–Kalispell) that would prohibit Montana courts from applying foreign law. The Senate passed it Friday. Wags might point out that Montana courts already apply a fixed body of law, the US Constitution and the code of Montana. But Regier’s bill will strengthen our resolve against replacing our existing legal system with the informal religious guidelines of literally several Muslim immigrants.

Either that or it’s stunt legislation that rallies bigotry to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. I guess it would depend on whether any Montana court had ever tried to apply sharia law, or if anyone in Montana had ever called for sharia law to be enforced, or if Montana were, as of 2012, the least Muslim state in America. Update: Only the last of these three conditions is true, and Regier’s bill is definitely an unnecessary public performance of Islamophobia. You can read all about it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent, which comes with my own ideas for other laws to protect us from foreign customs and futuristic toasters. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links.

Holder tells Senate that justification for drone strikes will remain secret

Attorney General Eric Holder is more likable if you refer to him as Crime Dog Eric Holder.

Attorney General Eric Holder is more likable if you refer to him as Crime Dog Eric Holder.

Yesterday, Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that there is an airtight legal justification for using drone strikes to kill American citizens abroad, but it’s secret. Also, the Obama administration might use drones domestically. Holder was understandably reticent about when that second scenario might happen, prompting Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to pose two hypotheticals. Suspected terrorist “sitting in a cafe?” No, Holder believes that in that situation, a domestic drone strike would be unconstitutional. Suspected terrorist “pointing a bazooka at the Pentagon?” Yeah, Holder would light that dude up. It is fun that Ted Cruz maybe thinks of the Pentagon as the seat of US government. Otherwise, this exchange was dispiriting in the extreme.

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Wayne La Pierre draws worst opener ever


That’s former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, delivering the opening remarks at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence. As you may remember, Giffords was shot in 2011 by Jared Lee Loughner, whose list of complaints against her included her failure to completely answer his question, “What is government if words have no meaning?” at a 2007 campaign event. Something is wrong with Loughner’s brain. Thanks to that and his legally-purchased Glock 19, something is wrong with Giffrords’s brain now, too. After she struggled to speak on an issue that affects her and thousands of other Americans on a very personal level each year, Wayne La Pierre took the stand to disagree with her, because that is his job.

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