FACTOID # 28: Austin, Texas has more people than Alaska.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Lawrence v. Texas
Lawrence v. Texas
Supreme Court of the United States
Argued March 26, 2003
Decided June 26, 2003
Full case name: John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner v. Texas
Docket #: 02-102
Citations: 539 U.S. 558; 123 S. Ct. 2472; 156 L. Ed. 2d 508; 2003 U.S. LEXIS 5013; 71 U.S.L.W. 4574; 2003 Cal. Daily Op. Service 5559; 2003 Daily Journal DAR 7036; 16 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 427
Prior history: Defendants convicted, Harris County Criminal Court (1999), rev'd, 2000 WL 729417 (Tex. App. 2000) (depublished), aff'd en banc, 41 S.W.3d 349 (Tex. App. 2001), review denied (Tex. App. 2002), cert. granted, 537 U.S. 1044 (2002)
Subsequent history: Complaint dismissed, 2003 WL 22453791, 2003 Tex. App. LEXIS 9191 (Tex. App. 2003)
Argument: Link to Oral Argument
Holding
A Texas law prohibiting homosexual sodomy violated the privacy and liberty of adults, under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, to engage in private intimate conduct.
Court membership
Chief Justice: William Rehnquist
Associate Justices: John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer
Case opinions
Majority by: Kennedy
Joined by: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
Concurrence by: O'Connor
Dissent by: Scalia
Joined by: Rehnquist, Thomas
Dissent by: Thomas
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. XIV; Tex. Penal Code § 21.06(a) (2003)

Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003),[1] was a landmark United States Supreme Court case. In the 6-3 ruling, the justices struck down the criminal prohibition of homosexual sodomy in Texas. The court had previously addressed the same issue in 1986 in Bowers v. Hardwick, but had upheld the challenged Georgia statute, not finding a constitutional protection of sexual privacy. Image File history File links Seal_of_the_United_States_Supreme_Court. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries  Atlas  Politics Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym... Harris County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. ... The Texas Courts of Appeals are part of the Texas judicial system. ... The South Western Reporter, South Western Reporter Second and South Western Reporter Third are United States regional case law reporters containing published appellate court case decisions for: Arkansas Kentucky Missouri Tennessee Texas When cited, the South Western Reporter, South Western Reporter Second and Atlantic Reporter Third are abbreviated S.W... Certiorari (pronunciation: sÉ™r-sh(Ä“-)É™-ˈrer-Ä“, -ˈrär-Ä“, -ˈra-rÄ“) is a legal term in Roman, English and American law referring to a type of writ seeking judicial review. ... William Hubbs Rehnquist (October 1, 1924 – September 3, 2005) was an American lawyer, jurist, and a political figure who served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States and later as the Chief Justice of the United States. ... John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is currently the most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Sandra Day OConnor (born March 26, 1930) is an American jurist who served as the first female Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1981 to 2006. ... Antonin Gregory Scalia (born March 11, 1936[1]) is an American jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... This article is about the Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. ... David Hackett Souter (born September 17, 1939) has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1990. ... Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American jurist and has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991. ... Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg (born March 15, 1933, Brooklyn, New York) is an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. ... Stephen Gerald Breyer (born August 15, 1938) is an American attorney, political figure, and jurist. ... Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), first intended to secure rights for former slaves. ... // The United States Reports, the official reporter of the Supreme Court of the United States Case citation is the system used in common law countries such as the United States, England and Wales, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia and India to uniquely identify the location of past court... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries  Atlas  Politics Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym... A Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States is nominated by the President of the United States and approved by the U.S. Senate, with at least half of that body approving in the affirmative. ... Since its coinage, the word homosexuality has acquired multiple meanings. ... sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as sex crimes. ... Official language(s) No official language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Largest metro area Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... Holding A Georgia law prohibiting sodomy was valid because there was no constitutionally protected right to engage in homosexual sodomy. ...


Lawrence explicitly overruled Bowers, holding that it had viewed the liberty interest too narrowly. The majority held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Lawrence has the effect of invalidating similar laws throughout the United States that purport to criminalize homosexual activity between consenting adults acting in private. It may also invalidate laws against heterosexual sodomy based solely on morality concerns. In United States law, adopted from English Law, due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that the government must normally respect all of a persons legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life... Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), first intended to secure rights for former slaves. ... Consent (as a term of jurisprudence) is a possible justification against civil or criminal liability. ... For the adult insect stage, see Imago. ... Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by esthetic attraction, romantic love or sexual desire exclusively for members of the opposite sex or gender, contrasted with homosexuality and distinguished from bisexuality and asexuality. ... François Elluin, Sodomites provoking the wrath of God, from Le pot pourri de Loth (1781). ...


The case attracted much public attention, and a large number of amici curiae ("friends of the court") briefs were filed. Its outcome was celebrated by gay rights advocates, who hoped that further legal advances might result as a consequence. Conversely, it was decried by social conservatives as an example of judicial activism. Definition and Explanation: Amicus curiæ (Latin for friend of the court; plural amici curiæ) briefs are legal documents filed by non-litigants in appellate court cases, which include additional information or arguments that those outside parties wish to have considered in that particular case. ... Brief redirects here. ... LGBT rights Around the world By country History · Groups · Activists Declaration of Montreal Same-sex relationships Marriage · Adoption Opposition · Discrimination Violence This box:      LGBT social movements share related goals of social acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgenderism. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Judicial activism is a term used by political commentators to describe a tendency by judges to consider outcomes, attitudinal preferences, and other public policy issues in interpreting applicable existing law. ...

Contents

History

Prior case law

Under the traditional common law, the existence of rights of sexual partners were recognized only in, and through the marriage contract. That is, in common law there was no stand-alone right of anyone to engage in sexual activity, be they male or female, adult or minor. The right to engage in sexual activity was derivative. The right derived from, and was viewed as a consequence of, the existence of a marital contract. And by the common law understanding of a contract, sexual activity was legal in any particular instance, only between the two(2) contracting parties in the contract. Thus, for the individuals who engaged in sex outside of their particular marital contract, there was no legal basis or protection. Their activities were frequently punished by laws prohibiting fornication, adultery, and sodomy, among other crimes. The power to make these laws being based upon the common law idea that the people have the inherent power to proscribe any conduct, they deemed as a matter of public policy, not to be in the individual's or public's interest.


By the 1960s, as attitudes towards sexual relations, marriage, and the role of women began to change, taboos against pre-marital sex waned. "No-fault" divorce laws made getting divorces easier, and the number of unmarried partners living together (a relationship formerly frowned upon) soared. As part of this change in societal norms, the acceptance of same-sex relationships and the number of people openly seeking such relationships increased, to the point that many states repealed their sodomy laws in the 1970s. Sodomy laws in the United States, laws primarily intended to outlaw gay sex, were historically pervasive, but have been invalidated by the 2003 Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. ...


In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court struck down a law barring the use of contraceptives by married couples. Griswold was the first Supreme Court case to recognize the right to privacy, which was based not on any specific guarantee in the Bill of Rights, but was part of "penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance." The Court was careful to limit its recognition of this right to married couples. Eisenstadt v. Baird, decided in 1972, potentially expanded the scope of sexual privacy rights by holding in dicta that if the right recognized in Griswold "means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child." This gave constitutional protection to all procreative sexual intercourse. In 1973, constitutional abortion rights were found in the highly controversial Roe v. Wade — thus the area of constitutionally-protected privacy was expanded beyond sex occurring between married partners. Holding A Connecticut law criminalizing the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy. ... Look up penumbra in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Eisenstadt v. ... In common law legal terminology a dictum (plural dicta) is any statement that forms a part of the judgment of a court, in particular a court whose decisions have value as precedent under the doctrine of stare decisis. ... Holding Texas law making it a crime to assist a woman to get an abortion violated her due process rights. ...


In Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), the Supreme Court heard a constitutional challenge to sodomy laws brought by a man who had been arrested, but was not prosecuted, for engaging in oral sex with another man in his home. The Court rejected this challenge by a 5 to 4 vote. Justice Byron White's majority opinion emphasized that Eisenstadt and Roe had only recognized a right to engage in procreative sexual activity, and that longstanding moral antipathy toward homosexual sodomy was enough to argue against the notion that the framers of the constitution would have envisioned a "right" to sodomy. If the court were to hold otherwise, Justice White argued, the Court would be substituting its own moral judgments for those of the people's elected representatives. Holding A Georgia law prohibiting sodomy was valid because there was no constitutionally protected right to engage in homosexual sodomy. ... Byron Raymond White (June 8, 1916 – April 15, 2002) won fame both as a football running back and as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... François Elluin, Sodomites provoking the wrath of God, from Le pot pourri de Loth (1781). ...


Justice Blackmun wrote a dissent in Bowers arguing that the majority's conception of liberty was too cramped. The Kentucky Supreme Court declined to follow the Court's analysis in Kentucky v. Wasson (1992), striking down its state's sodomy law on the basis of its state constitution. In 1996's Romer v. Evans, the Court struck down a Colorado constitutional provision repealing local antidiscrimination ordinances involving sexual orientation. Justice Harry Blackmun Harry Andrew Blackmun (November 12, 1908 – March 4, 1999) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1970 to 1994. ... The Kentucky Supreme Court was created by a 1975 constitutional amendment. ... Kentucky v. ... The Constitution of Kentucky is the document that governs the Commonwealth of Kentucky, United States. ... Holding An amendment to the Colorado Constitution that allows discrimination against homosexuals and prevents the state from protecting them violated equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, because it was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest, but instead was motivated by animus towards homosexuals. ...


Arrest of Lawrence and Garner

The petitioners, medical technologist John Geddes Lawrence, then 60, and street-stand barbecue vendor Tyron Garner, then 36, were found having consensual anal sex in Lawrence's apartment in the suburbs of Houston between 10:30 and 11 p.m. on September 17, 1998 when Harris County sheriff's deputy Joseph Quinn entered the unlocked apartment, with his weapon drawn, arresting the two. John Geddes Lawrence is a medical technologist from Houston, Texas, noted as the first-named appellant in the Lawrence v. ... Roman men having anal sex. ... Houston redirects here. ... is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Harris County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. ...


The arrests had stemmed from a false report of a "weapons disturbance" in their home — that because of a domestic disturbance or robbery, there was a man with a gun "going crazy." The person who filed the report, neighbor Roger David Nance, then 41, had earlier been accused of harassing the plaintiffs. (Despite the false report, probable cause to enter the home was not at issue in the case; Nance later admitted that he was lying, pled no contest to charges of filing a false police report, and served 15 days in jail.) In United States criminal law, probable cause refers to the standard by which a police officer may make an arrest, conduct a personal or property search or obtain a warrant. ... Nolo contendere, in criminal trials, in some common law jurisdictions, is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of guilty or not guilty. ...


Lawrence and Garner were arrested, held overnight in jail, and charged with violating Texas's anti-sodomy statute, the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law. The law, Chapter 21, Sec. 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, designated it as a Class C misdemeanor when someone "engages in deviant sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex," apparently prohibiting anal and oral sex between members of the same sex, but not between members of the opposite sex. They later posted $200 bail. François Elluin, Sodomites provoking the wrath of God, from Le pot pourri de Loth (1781). ... Since its coinage, the word homosexuality has acquired multiple meanings. ... A misdemeanor, or misdemeanour, in many common law legal systems, is a lesser criminal act. ... Roman men having anal sex. ... Oral sex consists of all sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth, which may include use of the tongue, teeth, and throat, to stimulate genitalia. ... The word bail as a legal term means: Security, usually a sum of money, exchanged for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee of that persons appearance for trial. ...

The case went far beyond Garner (left) and Lawrence (right), making the case a landmark in judicial history.

On November 20, Lawrence and Garner pleaded no contest to the charges. They were convicted by Justice of the Peace Mike Parrott, but exercised their right to a new trial before a Texas Criminal Court, where they asked the court to dismiss the charges against them on Fourteenth Amendment equal protection grounds, claiming that the law was unconstitutional since it prohibits sodomy between same-sex couples, but not between heterosexual couples, and also on right to privacy grounds (also known as the "substantive due process" argument). After the Criminal Court rejected this request, they pleaded no contest, reserving their right to file an appeal, and were fined $125 each (out of a maximum fine of $500 each), plus $141.25 in court costs. Tyron Garner and John Geddes Lawrence, the petitioners in Lawrence v. ... Tyron Garner and John Geddes Lawrence, the petitioners in Lawrence v. ... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... In law, a plea of nolo contendere means that the defendant does not admit the charge, but does not dispute it either. ... A justice of the peace (JP) is a puisne judicial officer appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. ... The Equal Protection Clause is a part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, providing that no state shall make or enforce any law which shall. ... Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by esthetic attraction, romantic love or sexual desire exclusively for members of the opposite sex or gender, contrasted with homosexuality and distinguished from bisexuality and asexuality. ... In United States law, adopted from English Law, due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that the government must normally respect all of a persons legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life... In law, an appeal is a process for making a formal challenge to an official decision. ... FINE was created in 1998 and is an informal association of the four main Fair Trade networks: F Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) I International Fair Trade Association (IFAT) N Network of European Worldshops (NEWS!) and E European Fair Trade Association (EFTA) // The aim of FINE is to enable these...


On November 4, 1999, arguments were presented to a three-judge panel of the Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals on both equal protection and right to privacy grounds. John S. Anderson and chief justice Paul Murphy ruled in the appellants' favor, finding that the law violated the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment to the Texas Constitution, which bars discrimination because of sex, race, color, creed, or national origin. J. Harvey Hudson dissented. This 2-1 decision ruled the Texas law was unconstitutional; the full court, however, voted to reconsider its decision, upholding the law's constitutionality 7-2 and denying both the substantive due process and the equal protection arguments. On April 13, 2001, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was petitioned to hear the case; the Court, the highest appellate court in Texas for criminal matters, denied review. The case then arrived at the U.S. Supreme Court, with a petition being filed July 16, 2002. is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... This box:      Most broadly, discrimination is the discernment of qualities and rejection of subjects with undesirable qualities. ... is the 103rd day of the year (104th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ...


Considerations

The Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari agreeing to hear the case on December 2, 2002. Thereafter, a wide array of organizations filed amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the petitioners as well as the respondents.[2] Certiorari (pronunciation: sər-sh(ē-)ə-ˈrer-ē, -ˈrär-ē, -ˈra-rē) is a legal term in Roman, English and American law referring to a type of writ seeking judicial review. ... is the 336th day of the year (337th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ...


Paul M. Smith delivered the oral argument on behalf of Lawrence on March 26, 2003; the decision was rendered on June 26. The questions before the court were the following: Paul Smith Paul March Smith (born 1954) is an American attorney who has argued many important cases, most notably Lawrence v. ... Oral arguments are verbal presentations to a judge or appellate court by a lawyer (or the party when representing themselves) of the legal reasons why they should prevail. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

  1. Whether the petitioners' criminal convictions under the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law — which criminalizes sexual intimacy by same-sex couples, but not identical behavior by different-sex couples — violate the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection of the laws;
  2. Whether the petitioners' criminal convictions for adult consensual sexual intimacy in their home violate their vital interests in liberty and privacy protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and
  3. Whether Bowers v. Hardwick should be overruled.

Holding A Georgia law prohibiting sodomy was valid because there was no constitutionally protected right to engage in homosexual sodomy. ...

Decision

Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court.
Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Supreme Court voted 6-3 to strike down the Texas law, with the five-justice majority saying it violated due process guarantees. The majority opinion, which overrules Bowers v. Hardwick, covers similar laws in 12 other states. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion; Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer joined. Kennedy spent most of his opinion casting doubt on the factual findings of the court in Bowers, that homosexual sodomy is a widely and historically condemned practice. For example, Kennedy cited a 1981 European Court of Human Rights case Dudgeon v. United Kingdom, as part of its argument against the Bowers court's finding that Western civilization condemned homosexuality. Chief Justice Burger, concurring in Bowers, had held that "Decisions of individuals relating to homosexual conduct have been subject to state intervention throughout the history of Western civilization"; Kennedy's citation of European law was in part a response to this blanket citation of the values of "Western civilization." Image File history File linksMetadata Anthony_Kennedy_Official. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Anthony_Kennedy_Official. ... In United States law, adopted from English Law, due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that the government must normally respect all of a persons legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life... Holding A Georgia law prohibiting sodomy was valid because there was no constitutionally protected right to engage in homosexual sodomy. ... This article is about the Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. ... John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is currently the most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... David Hackett Souter (born September 17, 1939) has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1990. ... Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg (born March 15, 1933, Brooklyn, New York) is an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. ... Stephen Gerald Breyer (born August 15, 1938) is an American attorney, political figure, and jurist. ... European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), often referred to informally as the Strasbourg Court, was created to systematise the hearing of human rights complaints against States Parties to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by... Dudgeon v. ...


The Court concluded that, "Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today. It ought not to remain binding precedent. Bowers v. Hardwick should be and now is overruled."


The majority decision found that "the intimate, adult consensual conduct at issue here was part of the liberty protected by the substantive component of the Fourteenth Amendment's due process protections." Holding that "the Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual," the court struck down the anti-sodomy law as unconstitutional. Kennedy's opinion crucially grounded the right of consenting adults to have sex on how intimate and personal the conduct was to those involved, not on the conduct being traditionally protected by society (as in Bowers), procreative (as in Eisenstadt and Roe), or conducted by married people (as in Griswold). This opened the door in theory to protection of a whole host of sexual activity between consenting adults not protected by other decisions. Kennedy was careful however not to extend the opinion to include governmental recognition of such relationships. Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), first intended to secure rights for former slaves. ...


As Justice Scalia and commentators have noted, the decision did not come from the scrutiny regime imposed by West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937), which, along with its progeny, established the doctrine that government regulation was constitutional if rationally related to a legitimate government interest (minimum scrutiny, or the "rational-basis" test).[3] More important rights could be abridged by government action only if the policy justification substantially furthered an important government interest.[citation needed] Holding Washingtons minimum wage law for women was a valid regulation of the right to contract freely because of the states special interest in protecting their health and ability to support themselves. ... Year 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


O'Connor's concurrence

Sandra O'Connor concurred with the opinion of the Court, but based her decision on different arguments.
Sandra O'Connor concurred with the opinion of the Court, but based her decision on different arguments.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor filed a concurring opinion, agreeing with the invalidation of the Texas anti-sodomy statute, but not with Kennedy's rationale. O'Connor disagreed with both the overturning of Bowers (she had been in the Bowers majority) and with the court's invocation of due process guarantees of liberty in this context. O'Connor instead preferred the equal protection argument which would still strike the law because it was directed against a group rather than an act, but would avoid the inclusion of sexuality under protected liberty. Image File history File linksMetadata O'Connor,_Sandra. ... Image File history File linksMetadata O'Connor,_Sandra. ... Sandra Day OConnor (born March 26, 1930) is an American jurist and former politician who served as the first female Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1981 to 2006. ... Sandra Day OConnor (born March 26, 1930) is an American jurist who served as the first female Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1981 to 2006. ...


O'Connor maintained that a sodomy law that was neutral both in effect and application might well be constitutional, but that there was little to fear because "democratic society" would not tolerate it for long. She left the door open for laws which distinguished between homosexuals and heterosexuals on the basis of legitimate state interest, but found that this was not such a law. In some ways, O'Connor's opinion was broader than the majority's, for as Antonin Scalia noted in dissent it explicitly cast doubt on whether laws limiting marriage to heterosexual couples could pass rational-basis scrutiny. O'Connor explicitly noted in her opinion that a law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples would pass the rational scrutiny as long as it was designed to preserve traditional marriage, and not simply based on the state's dislike of homosexual persons. Antonin Gregory Scalia (born March 11, 1936[1]) is an American jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Rational basis rest, in U.S. constitutional law, is the lowest level of scrutiny applied by courts deciding constitutional issues through judicial review. ...


Dissents

Antonin Scalia wrote the main, sharply-worded, dissent.
Antonin Scalia wrote the main, sharply-worded, dissent.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a sharply worded dissent, which Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas joined. Scalia objected to the Court's decision to revisit Bowers, pointing out that there were many subsequent decisions from lower courts based on Bowers that, with its overturning, might now be open to doubt: Image File history File linksMetadata Antonin_Scalia,_SCOTUS_photo_portrait. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Antonin_Scalia,_SCOTUS_photo_portrait. ... Antonin Gregory Scalia (born March 11, 1936[1]) is an American jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Antonin Gregory Scalia (born March 11, 1936[1]) is an American jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the judicial branch... William H. Rehnquist has served as the Chief Justice of the United States since 1986. ... Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American jurist and has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991. ...

Williams v. Pryor, which upheld Alabama's prohibition on the sale of sex toys; Milner v. Apfel, which asserted that "legislatures are permitted to legislate with regard to morality...rather than confined to preventing demonstrable harms;" Holmes v. California Army National Guard, which upheld the federal statute and regulations banning from military service those who engage in homosexual conduct; Owens v. State, which held that "a person has no constitutional right to engage in sexual intercourse, at least outside of marriage."

Scalia noted that the same rationale used to overturn Bowers (looking to (1) "whether its foundations have been 'eroded' by subsequent decisions; (2) it has been subject to 'substantial and continuing' criticism; (3) it has not induced 'individual or societal reliance'") could be applied to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, which the Justices in the majority in Lawrence had just recently upheld in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This article is about the U.S. State. ... A sex toy is a term for any object or device that is primarily used in facilitating human sexual pleasure. ... Holding A Pennsylvania law that required spousal notification prior to obtaining an abortion was invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment because it created an undue burden on married women seeking an abortion. ...


Scalia also criticizes the writers of the opinion for their unwillingness to give the same respect to the doctrine of stare decisis that some of them applied in Casey . There, Scalia notes, stare decisis was of the utmost importance, and that there the court gave even more weight to the concept because of the divisive nature of the case. The Lawrence decision "do[es] not bother to distinguish—or indeed, even bother to mention—the paean to stare decisis coauthored by three Members of today's majority in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. There, when stare decisis meant preservation of judicially invented abortion rights, the widespread criticism of Roe was strong reason to reaffirm it." He goes on to write "Today, however, the widespread opposition to Bowers, a decision resolving an issue as 'intensely divisive' as the issue in Roe, is offered as a reason in favor of overruling it." Stare decisis (Latin: , Anglicisation: , to stand by things decided) is a Latin legal term, used in common law systems to express the notion that prior court decisions must be recognized as precedents, according to case law. ...


Federal courts have recognized that the majority opinion in Lawrence was narrow. Upon rehearing Williams v. Pryor after Lawrence was decided, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals concluded: "In short, we decline to extrapolate from Lawrence and its dicta a right to sexual privacy triggering strict scrutiny. To do so would be to impose a fundamental-rights interpretation on a decision that rested on rational-basis grounds, that never engaged in Glucksberg analysis, and that never invoked strict scrutiny" Williams v. Attorney General of Alabama, 378 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2004). Accordingly, Alabama's ban on the sale of sex toys was upheld. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts: Middle District of Alabama Northern District of Alabama Southern District of Alabama Middle District of Florida Northern District of Florida Southern District of Florida Middle...


Scalia also averred that, State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers' validation of laws based on moral choices. The term polygamy (many marriages in late Greek) is used in related ways in social anthropology, sociobiology, and sociology. ... International recognition Civil unions and domestic partnerships Recognized in some regions Unregistered co-habitation Recognition debated Civil unions legal, same-sex marriage debated See also Same-sex marriage Civil union Registered partnership Domestic partnership Timeline of same-sex marriage Listings by country This box:      Same-sex marriage is a term... Incest is sexual activity between two persons related by close kinship. ... Whore redirects here. ... Woman masturbating, 1913 drawing by Gustav Klimt. ... This article is about the act of adultery. ... Fornication, or simple fornication, is a term which refers to sexual intercourse between consenting unmarried partners. ... Look up Bestiality in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Obscenity in Latin obscenus, meaning foul, repulsive, detestable, (possibly derived from ob caenum, literally from filth). The term is most often used in a legal context to describe expressions (words, images, actions) that offend the prevalent sexual morality of the time. ...

Justice Thomas wrote the sodomy law was silly, but still upheld it because he believed it did not violate the Constitution
Justice Thomas wrote the sodomy law was silly, but still upheld it because he believed it did not violate the Constitution

With this decision, Scalia concluded, the Court "has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda." While Scalia said that he has "nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means," Scalia argued that the Court has an obligation to decide cases neutrally. In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, a later case decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, held that the Massachusetts Constitution requires that marriage be available to homosexual as well as heterosexual couples. Image File history File linksMetadata Clarence_Thomas_official. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Clarence_Thomas_official. ... The homosexual agenda (or the gay agenda) is a term used by some social conservatives to describe the goal of increasing LGBT acceptance through public policies, media exposure, and cultural change. ... Holding The denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated provisions of the state constitution guaranteeing individual liberty and equality, and was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest. ... The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) is the highest court in the United States Commonwealth of Massachusetts. ... The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the fundamental governing document of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. ...


In his March 8, 2006 address at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, when asked about constitutional rights to gay and lesbian citizens, Scalia said: "Question comes up: is there a constitutional right to homosexual conduct? Not a hard question for me. It's absolutely clear that nobody ever thought when the Bill of Rights was adopted that it gave a right to homosexual conduct. Homosexual conduct was criminal for 200 years in every state. Easy question." The University of Fribourg (French: Université de Fribourg; German: Universität Freiburg) is a university in the city of Fribourg, Switzerland. ...


Justice Thomas, in a separate short dissenting opinion, wrote that the law which the Court struck down was "uncommonly silly" (a phrase from Justice Potter Stewart's dissent in Griswold v. Connecticut), but that he voted to uphold it as he could find "no general right of privacy" or relevant liberty in the Constitution. He added that if he were a member of the Texas Legislature he would vote to repeal the law. Potter Stewart (January 23, 1915 – December 7, 1985) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. ... Holding A Connecticut law criminalizing the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy. ... A legislature is a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to adopt laws. ...


Broader implications

US sodomy laws by the year when they were repealed or struck down. Lighter is earlier; darker is later.
US sodomy laws by the year when they were repealed or struck down. Lighter is earlier; darker is later.

Lambda Legal, which brought the case, hailed the decision as "a legal victory so decisive that it would change the entire landscape for the LGBT community."[4] Jay Alan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice has referred to the decision as having "changed the status of homosexual acts and changed a previous ruling of the Supreme Court...this was a drastic rewrite."[5] The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund's lead attorney in the case, Ruth Harlow stated in an interview after the ruling that "the court admitted its mistake in 1986, admitted it had been wrong then...and emphasized today that gay Americans, like all Americans, are entitled to full respect and equal claim to [all] constitutional rights."[6] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1770x983, 46 KB) info from en:Sodomy laws File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sodomy law Lawrence v. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1770x983, 46 KB) info from en:Sodomy laws File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Sodomy law Lawrence v. ... A sodomy law is a law which makes certain sexual acts into sex crimes. ... Lambda Legal (formerly Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), formed in 1973, is an American non-governmental organization devoted to promoting the legal rights of gay men and lesbians, bisexuals, the transgendered, and people with HIV or AIDS, through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Jay Alan Sekulow (born June 10, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York) is the Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an international special interest law firm and educational organization. ... The American Center for Law and Justice was founded in 1990 by Christian televangelist Dr. Pat Robertson as a nonprofit public interest law firm composed of attorneys committed to defending what it sees as the Judeo-Christian values of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, and the two-parent...


These reactions reflect widespread opinion that Lawrence v. Texas may ultimately be one of the Supreme Court's more influential decisions.[citation needed]

Garner and Lawrence embrace with a supporter at a Houston City Hall rally after the decision is announced.

Broader implications of this decision have been speculated, including the following: John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, the petitioners in Lawrence v. ... John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, the petitioners in Lawrence v. ...

  • Even though not decided upon equal protection grounds, homosexual rights supporters still hope that the majority decision will call into question other legal limitations on the rights of homosexuals, including the right to state recognition of homosexual marriages, and the right to serve in the military. Although no court has interpreted the U.S. Constitution to require states to allow same-sex marriage, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health that the constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts required that homosexuals be given full marriage rights. The decision did cite Lawrence, which was decided some four and a half months earlier, but did not draw on its direct precedential authority, as Goodridge was decided on exclusively state constitutional grounds. On the other hand, several federal district and circuit courts that have considered the extent of Lawrence have held that it is an extremely narrow holding under rational basis review. These courts have ruled that Lawrence does not call into question laws regulating marriage, nor does Lawrence strike down other regulations related to homosexuality. (See Wilson v. Ake, 354 F. Supp. 2d 1298 (M.D. Fla. 2005); Lofton v. Sec. of Dep’t of Children & Family Services, 358 F.3d 804 (11th. Cir. 2004); Williams v. Attorney General of Alabama, 378 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2004).) The Supreme Court has not yet accepted any cases that present an opportunity to further define the implications of Lawrence.
  • An issue central to the case, particularly focused on during oral argument, was whether laws can be justified merely through invocations of "morality" without the demonstration of any actual harm. This issue was a major concern for Justice Scalia in his dissent. Many laws would likely fail the test that the Texas sodomy statute failed here, including those prohibiting other forms of sexual behavior considered "deviant," or bans against obscene materials. At least one commentator has suggested that laws based on popular morality are properly analyzed under the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, rather than substantive due process. (Jeffrey A. Kershaw, "Towards an Establishment Theory of Gay Personhood," 58 Vand. L. Rev. 555 (2005).)
  • This case and its opinions exemplify fundamental debates in constitutional theory. Some argue that the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution should play the central role in constitutional interpretation. Others argue that the courts should have a more active role in expanding concepts of liberty, striking down majoritarian laws when they believe it necessary to protect unpopular minority groups and conduct. Furthermore, there are those who consider the Founding Fathers' intent for the constitution to be somewhat flexible to accommodate changing culture. The range of general positions have their judicial and scholarly supporters.
  • Central to the conflict over constitutional interpretation is the doctrine of substantive due process, a doctrine that is supposed to protect rights not explicitly guaranteed in the Constitution but still considered "implicit in ordered liberty." Many of the applications of this doctrine have been the target of criticism that the justices have read their personal views into the Constitution (see, for example, Lochner v. New York). The right to privacy, particularly in the context of abortion, is considered by some contemporary critics to be just such an unwarranted and excessive judicial invention. In light of this, it may be significant that Justice Kennedy's majority opinion focused on liberty rather than privacy. Though both are embraced under substantive due process, the shift might signal a significant change in the theoretical basis of the Court's fundamental rights jurisprudence, perhaps in an attempt to skirt the usual criticism over a general privacy right (see due process). Further, substantive due process is traditionally only to be used to protect what the court finds to be a "fundamental right". Since Kennedy's majority opinion at no time uses the term "fundamental right" to describe the conduct at issue, he leaves open the question of what level of scrutiny should be applied to examine laws abridging the conduct: "rational basis" scrutiny, which gives great deference to the legislature, or so-called "heightened" or "strict" scrutiny, which almost always results in striking down the government's action. Though the Texas statute was struck down here, Kennedy used language similar to "rational basis" cases in the past. This ambiguity creates difficulty for the states in trying to decide what types of laws will not be tolerated under the court's new reasoning.
  • The Court has not ruled on statutes prohibiting adult incest, polygamy, adultery, prostitution, and other forms of sexual intimacy between consenting adults. Lawrence may have created a slippery slope for these laws to eventually fall. Conservative critics argue that the Court's doctrine in areas of sexual intimacy will not be entirely consistent internally until these issues are dealt with explicitly.
  • Lawrence had the additional impact of invalidating age of consent laws that differed based on sexual orientation. Soon after the Lawrence decision, the Supreme Court ordered the State of Kansas to review its 1999 "Romeo and Juliet" law that reduces the punishment for a teenager under 18 years of age who has consensual sexual relations with a minor no more than four years their junior, but explicitly excludes homosexual conduct from the sentence reduction[7] In 2004 the Kansas Appeals Court upheld the law as is, but the Kansas Supreme Court unanimously reversed the lower court's ruling on October 21, 2005,[8] in State v. Limon, 280 Kan. 275, 122 P.3d 22 (2005). The United States Supreme Court order for the Kansas court to review the law in light of Lawrence would seem to suggest that the age of consent must be the same for heterosexuals and homosexuals.[9]
  • The use of European court decisions as persuasive authority by the majority raises the question of what influence non-American court decisions should have on United States law.
  • Because the majority opinion did not show disagreement with O'Connor's concurrence, based on the Equal Protection Clause, and appeared to implicitly endorse O'Connor's analysis as well, lower courts since then have stated that O'Connor's concurrence was highly persuasive. For example, in People v. Hofsheier, 37 Cal. 4th 1185, 129 P.3d 29, 39 Cal. Rptr. 3d 821 (2006), the California Supreme Court, citing both O'Connor's concurrence and the Kansas Supreme Court opinion Limon (which also partially relied on O'Connor's concurrence), invalidated the mandatory sex offender registration requirement for adults convicted of oral copulation with minors, because sexual intercourse with minors did not carry mandatory registration requirements.

Many proponents of same-sex marriage draw upon Lawrence in their Constitutional reasoning, despite the fact that the High Court stated, "[The decision] does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter." Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003). The concurring opinion of Justice O'Connor stated that "preserving the traditional institution of marriage" is indeed a "legitimate state interest" and that "other reasons exist to promote the institution of marriage beyond mere moral disapproval of an excluded group." Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) (O'Connor, J. concurring). International recognition Civil unions and domestic partnerships Recognized in some regions Unregistered co-habitation Recognition debated Civil unions legal, same-sex marriage debated See also Same-sex marriage Civil union Registered partnership Domestic partnership Timeline of same-sex marriage Listings by country This box:      Same-sex marriage, also called gay... The first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... The definition of a minority group can vary, depending on specific context, but generally refers to either a sociological sub-group that does not form either a majority or a plurality of the total population, or a group that, while not necessarily a numerical minority, is disadvantaged or otherwise has... Holding New Yorks regulation of the working hours of bakers was not a justifiable restriction of the right to contract freely under the 14th Amendments guarantee of liberty. ... For the jurisprudence of courts, see Case law. ... In United States law, adopted from English Law, due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that the government must normally respect all of a persons legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life... The term polygamy (many marriages in late Greek) is used in related ways in social anthropology, sociobiology, and sociology. ... This article is about the act of adultery. ... Whore redirects here. ... In debate or rhetoric, the slippery slope is an argument for the likelihood of one event or trend given another. ... Age of consent laws Worldwide While the phrase age of consent typically does not appear in legal statutes,[1] when used with reference to criminal law the age of consent is the minimum age at which a person is considered to be capable of legally giving informed consent to any... Matthew Limon is the person whose case overturned the Kansas, unequal, age-of-consent laws for homosexuals. ... The Supreme Court of California is the state supreme court in California. ... Sex offender registration is a system in place in a number of jurisdictions designed to allow government authorities to keep track of the residence and activities of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences. ... Oral sex (from Latin os, oris mouth) consists of all the sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth and tongue, to stimulate genitalia. ... It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ...


Homosexual rights proponents believe that, Lawrence explicitly analogized homosexual sodomy and heterosexual intercourse, and that Lawrence severed the link between constitutional protection of sexual conduct and whether the activity is procreative or takes place within the marital relationship or is traditionally protected by society, the logic of Lawrence casts considerable doubt on laws restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples, notwithstanding the not-so-subtle suggestions in both the majority opinion and in Justice O'Connor's concurrence that the court is not willing to listen to this argument, and that some of the justices (Kennedy and O'Connor specifically) would switch sides to vote with the dissenters in this case if the issue of gay marriage came before them.


In fact, subsequent federal and state case law has been quite explicit in limiting the scope of Lawrence and upholding traditional state regulations on marriage, expressly allowing a marriage-procreation link. (See Standhardt v. Superior Court ex rel County of Maricopa, 77 P.3d 451 (Ariz. App. 2003); Morrison v. Sadler, 2003 WL 23119998 (Ind. Super. Ct.) cert. denied (2003); Hernandez v Robles (2005 NYSlipOp 25057)).


As with all Supreme Court cases, the meaning of Lawrence will deepen as it is interpreted by lower state and federal courts, legal scholars, and the Supreme Court itself, revealing how broadly its guarantees of liberty extend.


Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent raises the question of whether other prohibitions on the private sexual behavior of consenting adults are unconstitutional, e.g. cases of incest. In Muth v. Frank, the 7th Circuit declined to extend its reasoning to cases of consensual adult incest, although it did rule that Lawrence v. Texas was "a new substantive rule and [...] thus retroactive". Antonin Gregory Scalia (born March 11, 1936[1]) is an American jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Incest is sexual activity between two persons related by close kinship. ... Muth v. ...

  • - In the recent Holm case a polygamist attempted to use the Lawrence ruling to overturn Utah's laws banning this behaviour. The Supreme Court refused to hear his plea.
  • -The Connecticut Supreme Court rejected an argument based on Lawrence that a teacher had a constitutional right to engage in sexual activity with his students [1][2]

The Connecticut Supreme Court, formerly known as the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors, is the highest court in the U.S. state of Connecticut. ...

See also

This is a list of all the United States Supreme Court cases from volume 539 of the United States Reports: , Dastar Corp. ... The People v Ronald Onofre, , was a 1981 appeal against New York sodomy laws, decided in the New York Court of Appeals. ... Kentucky v. ... Holding A Georgia law prohibiting sodomy was valid because there was no constitutionally protected right to engage in homosexual sodomy. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Official 52-page written document compilationPDF (539 KiB) Syllabus, majority opinion, concurrence, and dissents.
  2. ^ For a full list of all the organizations and individuals that filed amicus briefs, see here.
  3. ^ Griswold v. Connecticut
  4. ^ http://www.lambdalegal.org/cgi-bin/iowa/documents/record?record=1356
  5. ^ http://www.aclj.org/askjay/040726_barbara_wa_marriage.asp
  6. ^ http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0306/26/se.07.html
  7. ^ http://www.sodomylaws.org/lawrence/lwnews002.htm
  8. ^ http://www.aclukswmo.org/news/index.html
  9. ^ http://www.sodomylaws.org/usa/kansas/kansas.htm

“PDF” redirects here. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to...

References

Page I of the Constitution of the United States of America Page II of the United States Constitution Page III of the United States Constitution Page IV of the United States Constitution The Syng inkstand, with which the Constitution was signed The Constitution of the United States is the supreme... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is the general and permanent federal Law of the United States. ... The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations (sometimes called administrative law) published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government of the United States. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ...

External links

Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Ronald Ernest Paul (born August 20, 1935) is a 10th-term United States congressman from Lake Jackson, Texas, a member of the Republican Party, a pro-life physician, and a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 presidential election. ... Header image from LewRockwell. ...



 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m