Foreign law bans have grown increasingly prevalent in the United States in recent years. Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Tennessee have all successfully passed anti-foreign law bills. Dozens of other states have proposed similar legislation. The Montana House and Senate passed Senate Bill 97 before Governor Steve Bullock vetoed it on April 6, 2017. Bills like Senate Bill 97 have undergone fine-tuning to avoid constitutional violations of the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. These bills incite heated, emotional testimony from local constituents, including those at Montana’s 2017 65th Legislative Session , and garner national attention. The “foreign law” mentioned in these bills should not be confused with “international law.” Under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, international law accepted by the U.S. (through Senate and Presidential approval) becomes part of American law. Foreign law, in contrast, should never be considered part of U.S. law and may only be used if it does not violate public policy.
Hannah Wilson, Legislative Analysis, Senate Bill 97: Are Foreign Law Bans Helpful or Harmful for Montana?, 78 Mont. L. Rev. Online 66, https://scholarship.law.umt.edu/mlr_online/vol78/iss1/7.