Another anti-Sharia measure received a surprise hearing in the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, even though there was no advance notice for the hearing. HJR 43 is a constitutional amendment by Dan Flynn, R-Van, stating that a “court of this state may not enforce, consider, or apply any religious or cultural law.”
Strangely, the bill’s author never uttered the words “Sharia” or “Islamic law” when explaining his bill, offering only bland, empty platitudes about respect for Texas law and courts. Rep. Flynn also announced that he was working on a committee substitute that changed his proposal in ways he did not specify. But, adding to the odd presentation, he did not bring any new language to show the committee.
The proposal as filed shares all the flaws of the anti-Sharia bill (SB 1639) that was heard in the Senate a few weeks ago — and then some, since the language of this constitutional amendment is MUCH more broad. Unfortunately, since the committee provided no advance warning for the hearing, they did not hear the full range of opposition that mobilized against SB 1639 in the Senate Business & Commerce Committee. Still, attorneys for the Texas Family Law Foundation did arrive in time to tell the House committee the same thing they told the Senate, namely, there is no need whatsoever to pass this measure, but if it is passed, it will lead to all sorts of messy consequences with existing marriage jurisprudence, and even international business relations.
No one showed up to speak in favor of the measure, or even submit a witness card in support.
Completing the strange scene, Rep. Flynn closed by saying how “irritated” he was that folks showed up to oppose his legislation, when they had not previously expressed their concerns to him.
I wonder how that could happen when the measure’s hearing took place with no advance notice and the actual language of his proposal is not yet available.