- Associated Press - Thursday, February 2, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas House committee has approved a bill that would require state judges to use American-based laws when deciding cases, rejecting concerns the legislation might be unconstitutional and complaints that it targets Muslims.

The bill by Rep. Brandt Smith doesn’t mention Sharia law, which is used in parts of the Islamic world, but the bill’s critics said Smith’s legislation would improperly target religious tenets.

The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote Thursday.

Smith and a speaker from the Center for Security Policy said that, absent this legislation, judges wouldn’t have guidance on how to settle cases with foreign elements.

Rep. Bob Ballinger said, however, the bill does nothing, and others say it could infringe on the judicial branch of government in violation of the state constitution.

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