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Awad v. Ziriax

United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
754 F. Supp. 2d 1298 (W.D. Okla. 2010)


Facts

In a 2010 election, the State of Oklahoma included a ballot question to amend the Oklahoma State Constitution. The amendment would prevent Oklahoma courts from considering or relying on international law or Sharia Law. The amendment stated that the courts must rely on federal or state law or the laws of other states, provided that such law did not include Sharia Law, in making judicial decisions. The amendment also stated that courts must not consider the legal principles of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts could not consider international law or Sharia law. The ballot question passed. Muneer Awad (plaintiff), a Muslim living in Oklahoma, brought suit against Paul Ziriax (defendant), the head of the Oklahoma State Board of Elections, alleging that the amendment violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Awad sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin the state from certifying the results of the ballot question until his suit was heard on the merits.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Miles-LaGrange, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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