Advertisement
[="1"]

Texas AG Ken Paxton would defend sodomy law if SCOTUS revisits Lawrence same-sex relationship case

Placeholder while article actions are loading

Shortly after the Supreme Court struck down the fundamental right to abortion, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) appeared to support Judge Clarence Thomas’s unanimous view that the Supreme Court could review other precedents identified as “demonstrably incorrect”, including those affecting the LGBTQ community.

One of the cases mentioned by Thomas was: Lawrence v. Texas, which prevents states from banning same-sex intimate relationships. The landmark 2003 ruling repealed a 1973 Texas law that criminalized the act of sodomy. but if Roe v. Wade was quashed, Paxton said he would defend the state’s defunct sodomy law if the Supreme Court followed Thomas’s comments and eventually revisited. Laurentius

“I mean, there’s all kinds of issues here, but the Supreme Court has definitely gotten into cases that I don’t think there’s any constitutional provision,” Paxton said in a Friday interview with NewsNation host Leland Vittert. “They were legislative issues, and this is one of those issues, and maybe there are more. So it would depend on the issue and what the state law had said at the time.”

When asked whether the Texas legislature would pass a similar sodomy bill and whether Paxton would defend it and take it to the Supreme Court, the Republican attorney general, who is up for re-election in November, suggested he would feel comfortable in supporting a law banning intimate sex. -sex relationships.

“Yeah, look, my job is to defend state law, and I will continue to do so,” Paxton told Vittert. “That is my job under the Constitution, and I am certainly willing and able to do it.”

A Paxton spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.

Attorney General’s support for sodomy bill comes as Texas is one of 13 states with “trigger bans” designed to go into effect once roe was knocked down, will ban abortion within 30 days. Before last week’s Supreme Court ruling, Texas had already restricted abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy, when many people still don’t realize they’re pregnant. Paxton had also issued an advisory that prosecutors could prosecute criminal cases under an unenforced 1925 state law before the trigger ban began.

Abortion is now banned in these states. Others will follow.

Harris County Judge Christine Weems (D) issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday to allow clinics to offer abortions for at least two weeks without criminal charges. Weems ruled that aroe a ban enforced by Paxton and prosecutors would “inevitably and irreparably curb the provision of abortions in the crucial final weeks when safer abortion care remains available and legal in Texas.”

A Texas judge issued a temporary restraining order on June 28 that allows some clinics to resume abortions up to six weeks’ gestation. (Video: Reuters)

After Friday’s culture-shattering opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, health advocates, legal experts and Democrats wonder if the Supreme Court’s conservative majority can overturn other rights in the coming years.

Thomas aimed at Laurentius in an opinion aligned with his conservative colleagues at the Supreme Court to quash roe† The judiciary also mentioned Griswold v. Connecticutthe 1965 ruling giving married couples the right to purchase and use contraception without government restrictions, and Obergefell v. Hodgesthe 2015 case that legalized marriage equality.

“In future cases, we must reconsider all substantive precedents of this Court, including: GriswoldLaurentiusand Obergefel,Thomas wrote on page 119 of the opinion dobbsBecause any substantive fair trial decision is “demonstrably wrong”… we have a duty to “correct the error” identified in those precedents.

Thomas added: “Having set aside these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question remains whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our substantive lawsuits have spawned.”

Biden, other critics fear Thomas’ ‘extreme’ position on contraception

However, the five other conservative judges who sided with the decision explicitly sought to reassure them in their opinion that those other rights will not be attacked. Dissenting justice’s opinion “suggests our decision is questioning” GriswoldEisenstadtLaurentiusand Obergefell† … But we have stated unequivocally that [n]something in this opinion must be understood to cast doubt on precedents not related to abortion,” they wrote.

Thomas’s opinion was denounced by President Biden as part of what he described as “an extreme and dangerous path the court is now following”.

On June 24, President Biden put forth a strong defense for abortion protection in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision overturning Roe v. Wade. (Video: The Washington Post)

As late as 1960, every state in the country had an anti-sodomy law, according to the New York Times. In Laurentius, the Supreme Court overturned a law in Texas banning gay sex. That opinion overturned a controversial 1986 ruling that upheld an anti-sodomy law in Georgia by 5-4 votes. That ruling showed that the constitution did not protect gay sex, even in the privacy of people’s homes.

Judge Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the 6-to-3 ruling that gays “have a right to respect for their private lives.”

“The state cannot humiliate their existence or control their fate by making their private sexual conduct a crime,” Kennedy wrote. “Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to participate in their conduct without government intervention.”

The most important decisions the Supreme Court overturned

In his dissenting opinion, Judge Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion Laurentius was “the product of a law-occupational culture, which has largely subscribed to the so-called gay agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some gay activists aimed at eliminating the moral disgrace traditionally associated with homosexual behavior.”

Republicans welcomed the Supreme Court decision, with former Vice President Mike Pence calling for a national abortion ban. While House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) refused to answer whether he would support the Supreme Court in reviewing rights on some of the cases Thomas mentioned, other Republicans have been more vocal about their stance. Utah Senate President Stuart Adams (R) said he would support the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage if the Supreme Court reconsidered marriage equality, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

LGBTQ community braces for rights reversal after abortion ruling

Paxton also praised the abortion decision, stating in a press release that June 24 is now an annual holiday for the Texas Attorney General’s office.

His comments about same-sex relationships in Texas were met with begrudgingly answered by critics and liberals, including Rochelle Garza, the Democratic nominee for state attorney general who will be battling Paxton in November.

“Roe was only the first – they won’t stop until they roll back all our civil rights,” she says tweeted Tuesday.

When asked again Friday whether he would support the Texas legislature to potentially test the sodomy law, Paxton was reluctant but insisted he would defend the law if the Supreme Court came again. Laurentius

“I should check it out,” he told NewsNation. “This is all new territory for us, so I should… [see] how the legislature was set up and whether we thought we could defend it. Ultimately, if it’s constitutional, we’re going to defend it.”

Frederic J. Frommer contributed to this report.