But the coup de grace in debunking Schmitz’s diatribe was supplied by David Yerushalmi, who corrected Schmitz’s mischaracterization of American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) legislation (such as Kansas’s recently passed law), elucidated a legal case study cited in the Center for Security Policy analysis I had referenced as part of my rebuttals to Schmitz, and reminded us all that the earliest of these laws (now passed in Kansas, Tennessee, Arizona, and Louisiana) have been in effect for several years without being challenged, let alone overturned.
Yerushalmi also provided a clear, didactic example of the need for ALAC-style laws. He described in brief an appellate court decision from Maryland, cited in the Center for Security Policy Study, where:
The court enforced a Pakistani Sharia court’s judgment of custody in favor of the father even though the mother had argued that she was not provided due process because had she gone to Pakistan to contest the case, she could have been subject to capital punishment for having a new relationship with a man not sanctioned by sharia.
Yerushalmi then summarized the salient facts of the case and appellate court ruling*, as follows:
The Maryland appellate court ruled that since the woman could not prove she’d be executed had she gone to Pakistan to litigate custody in the Pakistan Sharia Court, which is a national-state court in Pakistan, her failure to go to Pakistan and take the risk of execution precluded her from making the void as against public policy argument. ALAC would have provided the Maryland appellate court the legislative clarity to have reversed the lower court’s outrageous decision (emphasis added).
Judge Billings Learned Hand (1872-1961) was a U.S. judge and judicial philosopher. Hand served on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and subsequently the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Hand has the distinction of having been quoted more often than any other lower-court judge by legal scholars and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Apropos to the ongoing Sharia debate at NRO, I re-read Judge Hand’s 1950 opinion from United States v. Dennis, I83 F.2d 20I, 2I3 (2d Cir. 1950). The case involved Communist agitation designed to violently impose a new “utopian” order in America. Hand’s discussion included a little known, if clear-eyed, direct analogy between ancient Islamic and modern Communist totalitarianism, which contained a specific reference to Islam’s inherent militancy.