Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton advised Wednesday that Texas courts are not required to enforce rulings or laws from foreign countries.
While Paxton didn’t explicitly say it, his opinion was tied to a Shariah courts controversy that sprang up in 2015, when Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne furthered rumors that Islamic leaders were “bypassing American courts” by settling disputes according to an Islamic code called Shariah.
Van Duyne supported a proposed law that would have banned judges from applying foreign laws in rulings. That bill, and several like it, failed to pass in the Legislature.
Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, asked Paxton in late 2015 whether Texas courts could refuse to apply foreign laws or foreign rulings. Flynn asked about several scenarios, including arranged marriages and female genital mutilation.