On election day 2010, more than 70 percent of Oklahoma voters approved State Question 755, which forbids state courts from considering international law or Islamic religious law in pending court cases. However, that measure has been held in judicial limbo by a judicial activist appointed to the federal bench by Bill Clinton. The ridiculous decision can only be explained by the fact that the chief district judge of the western district of Oklahoma, Vicki Miles-LaGrange – who serves for life – is a lifelong beneficiary of Affirmative Action, a thoroughgoing mediocrity, and a committed devotee of reverse discrimination.
Prohibiting Theocracy is Unconstitutional?
Whatever controversy the election has sparked, it was not provoked by the text of the law itself. The amendment requires courts to:
rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.
Although media coverage has focused on its banning of Islamic law, known as Shari’a, its first clause is as important. An ever-increasing number of judges – including a five-member majority of sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices – cite foreign law as the equal of the U.S. Constitution. This serves the Obama administration and the Legal Left’s purpose of replacing the constitution with globalist economic and social views. Oklahoma acted prudently in banning the practice from its state courts. The amendment simply requires judges to use the law and the constitution as their guide instead of importing foreign legal sources that advance judicial activist aims.
Prohibiting judges from using Islamic religious law to decide secular cases should be less controversial yet. Any attempt to substitute religious tradition – especially the religion of a tiny minority of Americans that conflicts with the historical Christian faith of this nation’s Founding Fathers – would be a glaring violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. State law, the state constitution, and the U.S. Constitution are the legally binding authorities in Sooner State courts.
Muneer Awad of the Oklahoma state chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) immediately sued to keep the state from implementing the overwhelmingly popular measure. And so far, he has won.
Somehow Vicki Miles-LaGrange saw in this measure, not an attempt to protect the legal basis of her profession, but an insidious attack on innocent Muslims.
Miles-LaGrange has since granted two injunctions barring the measure. In a nine-page letter released November 9, she wrote the state “amendment does not have a secular purpose, that its primary purpose inhibits religion, and that it fosters an excessive government entanglement with religion.”
She said CAIR made a compelling case the bill’s “actual purpose is to disapprove of the plaintiff’s faith,” Islam. The evidence? The bill’s primary author, Republican State Representative Rex Duncan, said, “America was founded on Judeo-Christian values” and wrote the measure to assure Oklahoma courts do not “undermine those founding principles.”
Madam justice issued another temporary injunction Monday, in which she claimed Shari’a “lacks a legal character” and “is not ‘law’ but is religious traditions that differ among Muslims.” In her ruling, it would be an establishment of religion if an Oklahoma judge is not free to make an establishment of religion.
How did a judge come to such an inverted point of view? Miles-LaGrange has spent so much of her life variously exploiting and exacerbating racial tensions that she makes her decisions by siding with the perceived victim, regardless of the clearest principles of the law.
Affirmative Action Baby, 2.0
Vicki Miles-LaGrange grew up in Oklahoma, where she took an interest in identity politics from a young age. In a series of interviews, the judge recounts how she used Affirmative Action guidelines to become a delegate to the 1972 Democratic National Convention, which nominated George McGovern. When told as an 18-year-old she should wait to run, she replied: “No! Because I run on that slot and then if I don’t win I can win on the woman’s slot and then if I don’t win I’ll run on the minority slot and I’ll just keep running until I win!” She described herself at 18: “I had a short afro and just thought I was pretty cool. You know, I was Ms. Activist.”
After graduating from Vassar College, she “received a certificate from the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana, West Africa.” (She would go on to advise foreign, primarily African, nations on the principles of jurisprudence.) She became editor of The Howard Law Review, saying she chose Howard, because it was the alma mater of Thurgood Marshall, one of the most liberal judicial activists ever to sit on the Supreme Court.
After passing the bar, she clerked for U.S. District Court judge Woodrow Seals from 1977-79. One year later, Seals ruled it was unconstitutional to deny to the children of illegal immigrants public education.
She then headed to Washington, D.C., where she “cycled” through a number of roles in the Justice Department. She states, among other things, she “worked a little bit on the [John] Demjanjuk case, he was at Treblinka.” In fact, the Israeli Supreme Court exonerated Demjanjuk of charges he was Ivan the Terrible, or even at Treblinka, in 1993. That September, Demjanjuk proved to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that DoJ prosecutors deliberately withheld evidence that would have exonerated him. (Prosecutors now allege he may have been a guard at one or more other camps.)
In 1986, she returned home and became the first black woman elected to the Oklahoma state senate, where she chaired the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus. She was promptly fast-tracked onto the Education Appropriations Committee her first year (“That’s unheard of!” she admitted) and became chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee two years later. Nonetheless, she described some of her male colleagues (who fast-tracked her in the first place) as “Neanderthal.”
One biography notes in her legislative career, “She is particularly proud of legislation she sponsored which…affording minority contractors a better chance to compete for state projects.”
She drafted the Fair Employment Practices Act, a state Affirmative Action bill. She also supported “reimbursement breaks for child care for women on public assistance,” because “they deserve a quality of child care just like the woman who can afford to pay for the finest care or care in her home…Well, the highest and the best would probably be a momma that can afford to stay home and raise those babies.” Her legislative career appears to have largely revolved around redistributing wealth and heightening racial tensions.
These qualifications launched her to a prominent legal career. She served as a U.S. Attorney “for less than twenty-four months,” once again hitting the fast-track to higher office. She served as U.S. attorney for Western Oklahoma when, in 1994, “She was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1994 as the first African-American federal judge in the six states that make up the 10th Circuit.”
At each point in her life, she has been bumped forward to higher office, none of it clearly justified by talent. She does not sound exceptionally bright text in either the written text nor the audio excerpts of her interviews. She opened a rambling commencement speech to the Oklahoma City University Law School’s class of 2009 with an abysmally immature introduction welcoming “all of the mamas and daddies, and grandmas and grandpas, and nannas and meemaws and pawpaws, and aunties and uncles, and sisters and brothers, and neighbors and friends.”
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Yet up she moves. She has acknowledged her career path “is not a typical route.” Despite significantly benefiting from her double minority status, she remains embittered and views the nation as a swirling torrent of prejudice and white supremacy.
During her brief tenure as a U.S. attorney, she told Ebony magazine, “It’s not like you take off being a black woman because you walk through the door of your workplace.” Echoing Sonia Sotomayor’s statement “that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male,” Miles-LaGrange said, “I just think that my own experiences bring a broader perspective than maybe what had been the norm.”
She encouraged OCU grads to consider imitating ants, the most collectivist of all animals, recreating “how they make progress in preparing for the winter through a unified collective effort.” She revealed her family’s multi-generational commitment to community organizing by doing an impression of her grandfather telling her, “Early to bed, early to rise. Work like Hell and organize.” She then told the students to use their degrees to “agitate” society.
Pick a Victim, Any Victim
With her status as a privileged, entitled “victim,” it is clear how she ruled against the First Amendment. Judge Miles-LaGrange has spent decades dividing society into classes of victims and oppressors, innocents and aggressors, the downtrodden yearning to overcome and the old order unnaturally repressing whole groups of humanity. In the liberals’ demonology, there is no class more offensive than America’s Founding Fathers, those dead white Christian males, many of them Southerners, whose prescience and insights crafted the U.S. Constitution. Muslims are their perceived victims, so Miles-LaGrange knows which side must prevail in her courtroom. Unfortunately, she is not alone in her demeaning view of America’s “tragic” history, spreading the wealth around by political fiat, or granting Islam a preferred status under the law. If Barack Obama is watching, she may have qualified for her next, most extensive, least deserved promotion yet: his next Supreme Court nominee.