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Judge blocks Okla. Shariah law amendment

OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A federal judge blocked certification of an Oklahoma constitutional amendment that would bar state courts from considering international or Shariah law.

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange said the temporary restraining order issued Monday would be in effect for 14 days, giving the attorney general's office time to file written briefs and petitioner Muneer Awad to file a response, The Oklahoman reported Tuesday.

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Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, last week sued to challenge the amendment, approved by 70 percent of voters last week, as unconstitutional, seeking a court order to bar the state election board from certifying the amendment, The Oklahoman said.

Awad, representing himself, told the court judges would have to consider Shariah law to avoid it, and must define what it is. He said the amendment, if certified, would violate his constitutional right because it defines what "my faith is and what my faith is not."

Assistant Attorney General Scott Boughton said Awad did not have standing, charging he didn't show the amendment represented a present or imminent injury, The Oklahoman said. Boughton said a temporary restraining order would "frustrate the will of the Legislature and the will of the voters who cast votes in the last election."

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