Today is voting day, and Americans United has been keeping an eye on a couple of ballot initiatives.
In Alabama, Amendment 1 would ban foreign laws in Alabama courts. This constitutional amendment is completely unnecessary as Alabama courts are already empowered to refuse to enforce foreign law judgments if they violate Alabama and U.S. laws. Instead of serving any real purpose, the ban is prompted by anti-Muslim animus and the fabricated idea that Sharia law is taking over courts in the U.S.
Foreign law bans also lead to numerous unintended consequences. The language is so broad that it could jeopardize the enforcement of international adoptions and marriages as well as the internal governance of houses of worship.
To learn more about Amendment 1, check out these pieces from Alabama Public Radio, AL.com, a University of Alabama School of Law professor’s op-ed, and the Greater Birmingham Ministries Executive Director.
In Hawaii, Amendment 4 would allow public money to flow to private religious early education programs. It does not prohibit taxpayer money from funding religious teaching or indoctrination at these schools. Although it is limited to early childhood education, the amendment would not escape many of the negative consequences that result from larger private school voucher programs.
Many believe the program would be too expensive, especially when the state could be improving and expanding its public early education system.