JUNEAU, Alaska — A bill to ban foreign law in Alaska (HB 88) is generating some intense debate in the Legislature.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Carl Gatto (R-Palmer) says he sees certain individuals linking religion with civil laws, and that the state needs to make clear that all individual rights are guaranteed and protected through the state and U.S. Constitutions.
"We want to give the courts some pretty good sideboards that absolutely tell us there are things you cannot do here in spite of the traditions from your old country," said Gatto at a Wednesday House Judiciary Committee hearing on his bill.
Gatto said he's not targeting any one group, religion, or culture; but he writes in an initial sponsor statement that his bill is meant to prevent the influence of Shariah law into Alaska's court system. Much of the testimony Wednesday focused on Shariah law.
Shariah law is a set of Islamic principles and religious interpretations that have been adopted into the laws of certain countries, mostly in the Middle East.