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Lawrence v. Texas

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


Facts

A Texas statute made it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct. Officers of the Harris County Police Department in Houston, Texas were dispatched to a private residence in response to a reported weapons disturbance. Upon entering the apartment where Lawrence (defendant) resided, the officers observed Lawrence and another man, Garner (defendant), engaging in anal sex. The two men were arrested, held in custody overnight, charged, and convicted by a Justice of the Peace in the State of Texas (plaintiff). The defendants exercised the right to a new trial in Texas Criminal Court, which affirmed the convictions. The court of appeals affirmed the convictions, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

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Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)

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Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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