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Lawrence v. Texas

United States Supreme Court
539 U.S. 558 (2003)


Lawrence v. Texas

Facts

Police officers were dispatched to the home of John Lawrence (defendant) in response to a report of a weapons disturbance. When the police went into the home, the police observed Lawrence and Tyron Garner (defendant) engaged in a sexual act. The State of Texas (plaintiff) charged Lawrence and Garner with engaging in deviate sexual intercourse with a person of the same sex. Lawrence and Garner were convicted by a Justice of the Peace and exercised their right to a new trial in criminal court. Lawrence and Garner argued that the statute was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The criminal court rejected the arguments, and Lawrence and Garner entered a plea of nolo contendere. The court of appeals confirmed the convictions, and Lawrence and Garner petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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