Kennedy's Argumentative Essay: The Texas Sodomy Law

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Liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling or other private places. In our tradition the State is not omnipresent in the home. And there are other spheres of our lives and existence, outside the home, where the State should not be a dominant presence. Freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct. The instant case involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions Is liberty just what is specifically spelled out in our constition. Every law exists on two levels. One level concerns the words used by the legislature to express its will. The second level concerns…show more content…
He begins with stating that the case must determine if the petitioners “were free as adults to engage in the private conduct in the exercise of their liberty under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.". He felt that personal choices such as homosexuality might not be formally recognized by the law, but liberty granted by the constitution gives those persons that choice and they should not be charged as criminals in doing so. He communicated that Sodomy Laws, along with others like it in other states, were rooted within Judeo-Christian beliefs. Furthermore, the Texas Sodomy Law was more of a moral law instead of one that protected citizens. He did not specifically say that the Texas Sodomy Law was wrong but that the petitioners had “constitutionally-protected liberty” which the Texas Sodomy Law violates. He then moves on to the Bowers case which was used as the standard in Lawrence’s conviction. He says that the Bowers case is more complex and more factors and failed to express the extent of liberty. Additionally, he adds that the “mere moral disapproval of homosexuality by a legislative majority does not constitute a rational basis supporting the constitutionality of resulting…show more content…
Setting aside their own bias or personal morals, they were able to see past homosexuality and interpret what liberty is. This case proves that liberty is not one dimensional or specifically class oriented. Lawrence v. Texas involved two men, who were not perfect citizens. Both of the men had been arrested previously for different offenses. They were not gay rights activists or were ever affiliated with any gay rights organizations, but working class citizens. We all lead complex lives, and in doing so the Constitution must be interpreted to meet the needs of these complexities. However, by some means, their case was able to show the world that liberty is not restricted to just our public lives but our private lives

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