I’m not a lawyer or much of a student of law but here’s what I think about the overturning of the sodomy law s.
Just because a law is stupid does the Supreme Court have the right of overturning it? If it violates the constitution, sure. I’m not sure this law violated the constitution. The law is silly but the question is how far can states go in limiting behavior. What about incest laws? What about age of consent laws? Some states have 18 while others have 16 or even less. What about beasteality (sp?)?
The dissent had to do with the court taking sides in the “culture war”. I see that point of view and agree with it. I am for overturning the laws but in the democratic way.
Some are happy that bad law was tossed, OK, but isn’t that what a democracy is for? The 14th amendment is about equal protection not privacy. There are laws governing all sorts of private behavior. Are some of them bogus? Sure. Doesn’t mean you can just break them. They need to be overturned through the democratic process not by judicial fiat, just like Roe v. Wade was “found” in the 14th amendment.
This is not a victory for privacy but another blow to equal powers. The Supreme Court has chosen to make laws that don’t exist, strike down laws they don’t like instead of being judicious and interpreting the constitution. The loser here is the idea of a republican democracy, again.
Update 6/27/03: So one of the comments accused my of hiding my feelings about homosexuality. That was not my intent. First, from a justice point of view it does not matter. In reply to the comment, I do not approve of homosexuality. I believe it is immoral and not something I think is in-born but can be changed. At the same time, I would vote against having laws outlawing sexual behavior between consenting adults. In the same breath I hold to my position stated above that the Supreme Court had no business repealing a state law that I do not think violates the constitution.
Another update 6/27/03: More clarification (thanks Kurt for keeping me on my toes) my sentence “I would vote against having laws outlawing sexual behavior between consenting adults” is really flawed. There does need to be limits and I believe a state does have a right to legislate. I’d vote for laws forbidding incest and bigamy, for sure. Those have real nasty ramifications. I’d even support adultry laws. I do not support pre- or non-marital sexual laws except for some exceptions like I stated above but do believe those laws do not violate the constitution. I do believe that marriage is for one man and one woman and will vote/support accordingly.