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Oklahoma Lawmaker Resorts To Race-Baiting To Defend His Bigoted Law

26 August 2013 ThinkProgress No Comment Email This Post Email This Post




Oklahoma Lawmaker Resorts To Race-Baiting To Defend His Bigoted Law


Last week, federal Judge Vicki Miles LaGrange issued a permanent order striking down an anti-Islamic amendment to the Oklahoma constitution. Moreover, this order followed asimilar decision by a bipartisan panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upholding a temporary block on the same amendment. Nevertheless, the chief architect of this unconstitutional attack on Muslim Americans has his own unique theory for why the African American Judge LaGrange issued her order — she did it to show favoritism to minorities.

Former state Sen. Rex Duncan (R-OK), who pushed the anti-Islamic amendment through the state legislature and who now serves as a district attorney, offered his explanation of LaGrange’s order during an interview with a conservative radio host on Friday:

Somewhere in the recesses of her liberal mind she arrived at, and this is just my opinion, she arrived at the disposition, quickly, that she wanted to get and then had to torture the logic to justify her, in my mind, pre-determined opinion. This lady, she’s a smart lady, but when she was a state senator in Oklahoma she was very liberal, she was known for the liberal causes that she authored, many of which established preferential treatment for minorities with quotas set aside for hiring contracts with preferential treatment for minorities. So it didn’t come as a great surprise that a constitutional amendment that in effect tried to close the door on special treatment for a minority ideology or religion would be seen as her as hostile and I think that’s how she saw it, as a threat to the founding principles of our country, and she just went out of her way to side with the minorities and make up a reason for it.

In reality, LaGrange would have needed to bend over backwards to come up with a reason not to strike down Duncan’s handiwork. Duncan’s amendment provides that “[t]he courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.” But the Supreme Court held in Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. Hialeah that “[a]t a minimum, the protections of the Free Exercise Clause pertain if the law at issue discriminates against some or all religious beliefs or regulates or prohibits conduct because it is undertaken for religious reasons.” Calling out a specific faith, and singling that faith’s doctrine out for inferior treatment that other faiths are not subjected to, is simply not something the law is allowed to do in the United States.

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