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Texas "Sharia Law Amendment" (2011)

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The Texas "Sharia Law Amendment" (HJR 57) did not appear on the November 8, 2011 ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment in the state of Texas. The proposed ballot measure would have prohibited a Texas court from "from enforcing, considering, or applying a religious or cultural law."[1] Representative Leo Berman introduced the measure via HJR 57. [2]

Oklahoma voters passed a similar amendment in November 2010 known as the Oklahoma "Sharia Law Amendment", State Question 755 (2010).

The Sharia Law Amendment (HJR 57) was referred to the Texas House State Affairs Committee on February 21, 2011. It was still in committee as of March 8, 2011.[3]

The 82nd session of the Texas State Legislature adjourned on May 30, 2011. However, Gov. Rick Perry called a special session of the Texas State Legislature that commenced May 31, 2011 in early June and adjourned June 29, 2011. Eight amendments were proposed during the special session, but none passed. Including this proposal.[4]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The proposed ballot summary Texas voters would have seen on their ballot was: "The constitutional amendment prohibiting a court of this state from enforcing, considering, or applying a religious or cultural law."[2]

Constitutional changes

See also: Amending the Texas Constitution

If the "Religious and Cultural Laws" amendment made it onto the ballot and was approved by a simple majority of Texas voters in the November 8, 2011 general election, it would have amended Article 4 of the Texas Constitution by adding a new section, Section 32:[2]

A court of this state shall uphold the laws of the Constitution of the United States, this Constitution, federal laws, and laws of this state. A court of this state may not enforce, consider, or apply any religious or cultural law.

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas

As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.

See also

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Similar measures

Approveda Oklahoma "Sharia Law Amendment", State Question 755 (2010)

References