Lawrence v. Texas is a litigation in 2003, which led to the cancellation of prosecution for anal sex between adults by mutual consent in the United States. In 1986, the Supreme Court has already analyzed a similar case in the state of Georgia at a legal investigation "Bowers v. Hardwick". Then the Supreme Court by the decision of five judges against the four acknowledged the appeal of plaintiffs for equality of all citizens before the Constitution ridiculous and left the law in force. When considering the case of Lawrence, it was not easy for the Supreme Court to take the opposite decision in a similar situation, as it could undermine the authority of the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, such a sentence would require a review of a significant amount of old cases. In June 26 2003 the Supreme Court by six votes against the three satisfied the claim of Lawrence, recognizing Texas law invalid. The judges justified their decision by the fact that the law violates guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution individual's right to privacy.
The opinion of the majority judges expressed Justice Kennedy, joined by Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer. Judges have criticized the long-standing judgment in the case "Bowers v. Hardwick," which was adopted, as judges argued, mainly because of the condemnation of homosexual contacts in the western world and in western history. Justice Kennedy in the discussion referred to the case "Dudgeon v. the United Kingdom", considered in 1981 in the European Court for Human Rights, which held that the prosecution for homosexual contacts by mutual consent violates the eighth article of the European Convention on Human Rights. According to Kennedy, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case "Bowers v. Hardwick" was wrong and remains wrong today, as voluntary sexual relations between adults are an integral part of personal freedom and must be protected by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Justice O'Connor though was in favor of the plaintiffs, however, provided other arguments. Because in 1986 at the voting on the case "Bowers v. Hardwick," she joined the majority opinion, O'Connor refused to acknowledge the sexuality as a part of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of a citizen. Pointing out that the law discriminates only one specific group of people, O'Connor spoke in favor of the constitutionality of legislation regulating people's sex life until such legislation does not discriminate against certain groups of people. Texas law forbade only homosexual anal intercourse.
The judge Scalia flatly refused to consider the decision of the case "Bowers v. Hardwick" erroneous. He feared that now there would be required a revision of many other cases, based on this decision. Moreover, in his opinion, it is forbidden to interpret the Constitution and its amendments in the light of societal changes; on the contrary, it is needed to apply its provisions as much as possible with literal accuracy. Judges Rehnquist and Thomas supported the view of Scalia. Justice Thomas argued that laws against sodomy, though they are "extremely stupid", but do not violate the Constitution. Therefore, according to Thomas, the state has the right to enforce such laws.
Alex McBride. Lawrence v. Texas (2003). (2006)
Linda Greenhouse. The Supreme Court: homosexual rights; justices, 6-3, legalize gay sexual conduct in sweeping reversal of court's '86 ruling (2003)