The House approved a Berman amendment Tuesday to an omnibus courts bill (HB 79) that prohibits Texas courts from applying foreign laws in family cases, when they conflict with constitutional rights. Berman’s amendment was filed during the regular session as HB 911. It passed the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee unanimously, but died in the House Calendars Committee.The Berman court only nullifies a foreign law when it violates a law or the Texas constitution.
“We have a constitution of the United States and laws of the United States. We have a constitution and laws of Texas,” said Berman, noting that legislators take an oath to the U.S. and Texas constitutions upon taking office, not foreign jurisdictions. “I thought that doing this – prohibiting Texas courts from using any international law, culture, rules, or regulations – would be one way to protect Texas residents from Sharia law.”
Islamic Sharia law governs both societal matters such as marriage, divorce, and business relations and matters that US law considers personal such as hygiene and diet.