Conservatives eager to bring the marriage equality issue back to the U.S. Supreme Court after President Donald J. Trump has had an opportunity to appoint some conservative justices may have found a vehicle to get the issue there in an employee benefits dispute from Houston. On January 20, the Texas Supreme Court announced that it had “withdrawn” its September 2, 2016, order rejecting a petition to review a ruling by the state’s intermediate court of … <Read More>
With the death of Antonin Scalia the Supreme Court has lost its most outspoken anti-gay member. Ever since taking his seat on the high bench in 1986, Justice Scalia voted consistently against gay rights claims, sometimes in the majority and sometimes in dissent, regardless of the factual context in which they arose.
Scalia was appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan shortly after the Court had decided Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), the notorious case … <Read More>
Finding that prosecuting a man for failing to register as a sex offender on the basis of an old conviction under an unconstitutional sodomy law would be “unthinkable,” U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg granted a writ of habeas corpus to Charlton Green on December 9, directing that the State of Georgia release him from the obligations of probation to which he had been sentence.
Green, then age 20, and three friends, another young guy and … <Read More>
Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli has asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider and overrule a decision by a three-judge panel of that court that held last month that Virginia’s sodomy law is facially unconstitutional. Citing the dissenting opinion by one member of the panel ruling in MacDonald v. Moose, Cuccinelli emphasized that the case involving an adult man who solicited a teenage girl to have oral sex, and argued that Virginia should … <Read More>
Did Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decision holding that the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law violated the 14th Amendment Due Process clause, firmly establish a broad principle of federal constitutional law, or was it a narrow ruling that a state sodomy law cannot be used to prosecute private, consensual adult homosexual conduct? A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, Virginia, debated that question in … <Read More>