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Foreign law ban poised for House vote

Court or other rulings that uphold foreign law would be void under a widely-criticized measure poised for its final House vote Thursday.

Rep. Larry Metz, R-Eustis, the bill's sponsor, first denied HB 1209 targets a specific group or case. But Democrats eventually pushed him to say the bill stems from a Pakistani case, and "several others throughout the United States."  

Critics contend the measure is unnecessary, perpetuates racism and is aimed at preventing Sharia Law, a Koran-based code used in some Islamic countries.

Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, pointed out that Metz couldn't cite a single time a problem has arisen in Florida.

"I wondered how you thought this would help us," she said.

"The premise of the bill is you don't wait for the problem to become acute," he shot back. "If you can envision a solution, get out in front of the problem."

Schwartz also asked if Metz considers the United Kingdom a foreign country, and whether the bill would preclude laws that stem from there.

"It's possible the bill doesn't allow us to use the foreign law on which our constitution is based," she said.

The Senate companion has one more stop before the floor.