Reason Magazine: Have Republicans Made Peace with Sodomy?
posted at 8:43 pm on July 5, 2010 by Diane Suffern
Why didn’t GOP senators, self-described opponents of judicial activism, ask Elena Kagan about the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision which struck down state sodomy laws? According to Matt Chapman of Reason:
The decision bore the telltale signs of liberal activism: It did not rest on any clear provision of the Constitution. It did not match up with the laws in effect at the time of the nation’s founding. It discarded well-established precedents. And it created a social policy strongly favored by liberals.
Given the tenacious, decades-long debate other “bench legislation” has inspired, why the disinclination to address this case unless
…the GOP has “made peace with sodomy?”
Certainly there have been challenges to the decision, even recently. As Chapman explains, the current Texas GOP platform includes an appeal to Congress to restrain the Judiciary from interfering in state sodomy cases, while both the Oklahoma and Montana GOP platforms affirm prohibition of homosexual acts as the will of the people. Yet there has been a curious reluctance to raise the issue or resurrect the Lawrence vs. Texas case nationally (except, perhaps, in Hot Air threads we’ve all suffered battle wounds from).
Could it be that minds are changing?
Chapman concludes with three possible explanations:
Maybe Republicans think sodomy laws are impossible to justify and secretly don’t mind that the court struck them down. But that amounts to favoring judicial activism if you like the results, which is exactly what they lambaste liberals for doing.
Or maybe it’s because, though they would prefer for the court to uphold sodomy laws, they fear the political consequences of saying so. But that suggests that when the court’s activists imposed their moral preferences, they were also “imposing” those of the American people.
Or maybe it’s because they realize that laws trampling liberties most people take for granted can’t be squared with the spirit of freedom and equality that defines the Constitution—even if the letter of the Constitution has nothing obvious to say on the particular matter at hand.
Or maybe they have more important matters to deal with than the private sexual acts of consenting adults. Or maybe they’ve had a change of heart.
Let the healing begin.