July 29, 2004

ANDREW SULLIVAN LAUNCHES A BIT OF A CHEAP SHOT, in this post on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit’s decision upholding the dumb Alabama sex toy law: “Lawrence vs Texas doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact in the South. Surprise, surprise.”

Yet — as I noted before Lawrence was decided — state courts in many southern states had already found that homosexual sodomy was protected by a right of privacy under their state constitutions, in direct opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court’s contrary holding under the federal constitution in Bowers v. Hardwick, which was reversed by Lawrence. The U.S. Supreme Court was a follower, not a leader here. (And, though I don’t mention it in the piece linked above, a Louisiana appellate court even ruled that dildos are protected under that state’s constitution as outside the government’s legitimate regulatory power.) So I think Andrew’s casual slur is misplaced, and unworthy of him.