Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton says he is “willing and able” to defend his state’s law banning sodomy, which was struck down in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, should the court revisit it as at least one conservative justice has urged.
Responding to several questions about Lawrence v. Texas Tuesday on News Nation, Paxton said, “look my job is to defend state law and I’ll continue to do that. That is my job under the Constitution and I’m certainly willing and able to do that.”
Attorneys General are not required to defend laws they believe are discriminatory or unconstitutional, as then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2014, before the Supreme Court found same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.
Asked if he would go even further, perhaps providing a test case for the Supreme Court to test the state’s sodomy ban, Paxton said, “I’d have to take a look at it,” as the Houston Chronicle reports.
“This is all new territory for us so I’d have to how the Legislature was laid out and whether we thought we could defend it. Ultimately, if it’s constitutional, we’re going to go defend it.”
On Friday Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared to target LGBTQ people.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote on Friday, as NBC News reports. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
NBC News explains that “Griswold was a 1965 Supreme Court decision that established the right for married couples to buy and use contraceptives. It became the basis for the right to contraception for all couples a few years later. Lawrence was a 2003 Supreme Court decision that established the right for consenting adults to engage in same-sex intimacy. Obergefell was a 2015 Supreme Court decision to establish the right for same-sex couples to be married.”