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

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Shortly after the Supreme Court struck down the fundamental right to abortion, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) appeared to voice support for Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion that the High Court could consider other precedents that may be considered “patently wrong,” including those that affect the LGBTQ community.

One of the cases mentioned by Thomas was Lawrence v. Texas, which prevents states from prohibiting intimate same-sex relationships. The landmark 2003 ruling struck down a 1973 Texas law that criminalized the act of buggery. But like Roe vs. Wade was overturned, Paxton said he would defend the state’s old buggery law if the Supreme Court were to follow Thomas’s remarks and possibly revisit Lawrence.

“I mean, there are all sorts of issues here, but the Supreme Court has certainly intervened in issues that I don’t think there is a constitutional provision to deal with,” Paxton said in an interview Friday with the TV presenter. NewsNation Leland Vittert. “It was about legislative issues, and this is one of those issues, and there may be others. So it would depend on the question and what the state law said at the time.

When asked if the Texas legislature would pass a similar buggery law and if Paxton would defend it and take it to the Supreme Court, the Republican attorney general, who is running for re-election in November, suggested he would be comfortable supporting a law prohibiting the same intimate relationships. – sexual relations.

“Yeah, listen, my job is to uphold state law, and I will continue to do that,” Paxton told Vittert. “It’s my job under the Constitution, and I’m certainly willing and able to do it.”

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

The attorney general’s backing for a sodomy law comes as Texas is among 13 states with ‘trigger bans,’ designed to go into effect once deer was overturned, which will prohibit abortion within 30 days. Prior to last week’s Supreme Court ruling, Texas had already limited abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy, when many people do not yet realize they are pregnant. Paxton had also issued an advisory that prosecutors could prosecute criminal cases under a 1925 state law not enforced before trigger ban began.

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

On Tuesday, Harris County Judge Christine Weems (D) granted a temporary restraining order to allow clinics to offer abortions for at least two weeks without criminal prosecution. Weems ruled that a pre-deer the ban imposed by Paxton and prosecutors would “inevitably and irreparably chill the provision of abortions in the last vital weeks during which safer abortion care remains available and legal in Texas.”

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

Following Friday’s shocking opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, health advocates, legal experts and Democrats wonder whether the conservative majority on the Supreme Court might consider overriding other rights in the coming years.

Thomas aimed Lawrence in an opinion concurring with his conservative Supreme Court colleagues to overturn deer. The court also mentioned Griswold v. Connecticutthe 1965 ruling granting married couples the right to purchase and use contraceptives without government restriction, and Oberfell v. Hodgesthe 2015 case that legalized marriage equality.

“In future cases, we should reconsider all substantive due process precedents of this Court, including Griswold, Lawrenceand Oberfelfell,” Thomas wrote on page 119 of the review in Dobbs.Because any substantive due process decision is “demonstrably wrong”…we have a duty to “correct the error” established in these precedents.

Thomas added, “Having overturned these blatantly erroneous decisions, the question remains whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad of rights that our substantive due process cases have generated.”

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The other five conservative justices who joined in the ruling, however, explicitly tried to reassure them that they believe these other rights will not be affected. The dissenting judge’s opinion “suggests that our decision calls into question Griswold, Eisenstadt, Lawrenceand Oberefell. … But we have stated unequivocally that [n]nothing in this opinion should be understood as casting doubt on precedents that do not relate to abortion,” they write.

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

On June 24, President Biden forcefully defended abortion protections following the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision overturning Roe v. Wade. (Video: The Washington Post)

As recently as 1960, every state in the country had an anti-sodomy law, according to The New York Times. In Lawrence, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law prohibiting same-sex relations. That opinion overturned a controversial 1986 ruling that upheld an anti-sodomy law in Georgia by a 5-4 vote. That ruling found that the Constitution did not protect gay sex, even in the privacy of homes.

Judge Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the 6-to-3 decision that gay people have a “right to privacy.”

“The state cannot belittle their existence or control their destiny 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 engage in their conduct without government interference.”

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In his dissent, Judge Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence was “the product of a culture in the legal profession, which has largely embraced the so-called gay agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some gay activists aimed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached homosexual conduct”.

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

LGBTQ community prepares for removal of rights after abortion ruling

Paxton also welcomed the decision to abort, saying in a press release that June 24 is now a holiday for the Texas attorney general’s office.

His comments regarding gay relationships in Texas have been met with criticism and liberals, including Rochelle Garza, the Democratic candidate for state attorney general who is running against Paxton in November.

“Roe was just the first – they won’t stop until they take away all of our civil rights,” she said. tweeted Tuesday.

When asked again on Friday if he would support the Texas legislature potentially testing the sodomy law, Paxton was reluctant but maintained he would defend the law if the Supreme Court reconsiders. Lawrence.

“I should take a look at it,” he told NewsNation. “It’s brand new territory for us, so I should [see] how the legislature was organized and whether we thought we could defend it. At the end of the day, if it’s constitutional, we’re going to defend it. »

Frederic J. Frommer contributed to this report.

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