Jay Nixon Vetoes Anti-Sharia Law Bill, Says It Would Hinder Foreign Adoptions In Missouri

via YouTube
Brian Nieves.
Late one evening last month, in one fell swoop at the end of the legislative session, Missouri lawmakers passed three conservative bills that earned the state a bit of national mockery: A bill to block all federal gun control, legislation to restrict a 1992 United Nations green development pledge -- and a proposal to ban the enforcement of Sharia Law, the religious law of Islam. For some Republicans, it was a historic night of many feats. For others, it was, at the least, quite puzzling.

Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, now has the task of reviewing these bills and took the step yesterday of publicly shooting down the latter one aimed at protecting Missourians from Islamic religious law -- which, as critics point out, is not exactly a real threat.

In fact, according to Nixon, the bill is not only pointless, but it could have a serious unintended consequence.

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The bill in question is Senate Bill 267, sponsored by Republican State Senator Brian Nieves and officially called the "Civil Liberties Defense Act." The legislation, as written, establishes that the state must "protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of a foreign law will result in the violation of a right protected by the constitutions of the state of Missouri and the United States, including, but not limited to, due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy."

It does not directly mention Sharia Law, but as we noted when the proposal was first debated, the language of the bill very closely mirrors anti-Islamic law bills that have cropped around the country and originate with controversial individuals intent on presenting this religion as a threat to American freedom.

Governor Jay Nixon.

(And bizarre, anti-Islam rhetoric is not totally uncommon at the Capitol).

Nixon, however, focused on a problem that he says the bill could create -- that is, an obstacle to foreign adoptions in Missouri.

The governor, who came to Lutheran Family & Children's Services in St. Louis to formally veto the bill yesterday afternoon, says in a statement:

This legislation seeks to solve a problem that does not exist, while creating the very real problem of jeopardizing Missouri's families' ability to adopt children from foreign countries. Here in Missouri, we believe in strengthening families and encouraging adoption. By placing additional barriers between couples who want to adopt and children who need loving homes, Senate Bill 267 is quite simply out of step with these basic values.

In other words, it could further complicate the process couples face when adopting children from foreign countries that have legal systems that are inconsistent with ours.

The bill, which doesn't mention adoptions directly, could open the adoption process up to unnecessary challenges, critics say.

From 1999 through 2011, the most recent year of available data, Missouri families have adopted 5,852 children born outside of the U.S., Nixon also notes.

Nieves took to his Facebook page to slam the governor's veto with a characteristically colorful rant that says, in part:

I've attached the link to the bill so you all can show the governor you are smarter than him by actually reading it! If you read the bill and then read his made up, silly excuse as to why he vetoed it, you almost have to laugh! Sad thing is... It's NOT funny! A sitting governor should not allow lies and untruths to be the basis of their action!

Continue for more from Brian Nieves and for the governor's full veto message.

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Adam Woodson
Adam Woodson

yes, David, not outlawing sharia will make it legal for muslims to saw off people's heads here in Missouri. i'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're being facetious instead of absurd (or hyperbolic, which isn't much better).

Angelo Olegna
Angelo Olegna

Jay Nixon vetoed a pointless bill, oh no, what ever will we do?

JamesMadison topcommenter

Jay Nixon vetoed the First Amendment. For those who cry about the separation of Church and State, start crying. By saying Missouri might adhere to Sharia Law, he is saying that some religions will make some laws.

David B Fowler
David B Fowler

just saw off Nixon's head and see how he likes it.


These anti shariah laws are unconstitutional anyway so should not be passed.  Cant legislate religion, not that anyone is actually trying to legislate shariah law anyway.  Nixon is correct, this bill is only creating a problem that does not exist.


Lol. Earned the state mockery only from leftists. Duh, that's what they do to conservative measures.


@JamesMadison where exactly did Nixon say that "Missouri might adhere to Sharia Law"? oh, that's right, he didn't and you just made a bunch of stuff up. one more thing: given that sharia is religious law, how is it not already addressed by separation of church and state? these anti-sharia laws are redundant at best and unconstitutional at worst. come out of your bunker and get some fresh air.

JamesMadison topcommenter

@smdrpepper , ANTI-sharia law is banning religious laws in our secular code. Judges have cited Sharia law in settle domestic cases. It has no place in our courts, just as Christian, Jewish, or Amish laws ought not determine what is the legal basis for a judgement. Anti-sharia Law is an affirmation of the First Amendment. It is very constitutional. Nixon is correct in that passing it creates a problem for Democrats trying to appease Muslims.

JamesMadison topcommenter

@Adam, Nixon vetoed banning Missouri from using Sharia law. This is a fact. Undisputed. If one does not ban Missouri from applying Sharia law, the other option is to use Sharia law. Christian law is to prohibit murder and stealing. Our laws still use those principles despite your claim of separation of Church and State. We have seen other states allow Sharia law to settle marriage disputes. Missouri legislature was simply saying that was not allowed.

The anti-sharia laws may be redundant, but endorsing the First Amendment is not a bad idea. You claim it is redundant. So how can it be unconstitutional? How can the First Amendment be unconstitutional? You make no sense.

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