Gov. applauds Fla. House for passing bill against foreign laws

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill aimed at keeping foreign laws out of Florida family law courts.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Larry Metz, R-Groveland, said it is intended to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens from being violated in cases where foreign laws could apply.

Democratic opponents of the bill said it was unnecessary because no cases had arisen in Florida where it would apply, and criticized it as really being aimed at Muslim religious law, Sharia, and was an unconstitutional abridgement of religious freedom.

Metz was undeterred. The bill is aimed, he said, at preventing the application of constitutionally offensive foreign laws.”

“How can a ruling to prevent unconstitutional [results] be itself unconstitutional?” he asked.
Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement after the vote praising the bill.

“As Americans, we have the expressed right to freely practice our religion,” the statement said. “And I applaud the Florida House for passing HB 351 that would make clear the constitutional rights of our citizens will be protected.”

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