Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Murray v. Geithner (E.D. Mich. 2011): U.S. Financial Bailout Ruled Nondiscriminatory

Plaintiff Kevin Murray, an American taxpayer, sued Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve, arguing that the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA), which established the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by allowing funds to be used to support companies that invest in sharīʿa-compliant financial instruments. Applying the Lemon Test to assess whether there was excessive entanglement between religion and state related to Islamic financial instruments, the Court concluded that there was not; specifically, it determined that the Islamic financial instruments comprised only a small percentage of the complete business portfolio, that the purpose of the EESA was not religious, and that the primary effect of utilizing the Islamic financial instruments did not support or hinder any religion. Accordingly, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants.

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