American Government- C08S
Part A: Lawrence versus Texas
The United States Supreme Court case that I chose to write about is Lawrence versus Texas. The case is said to be in violation of the fourteenth amendment. The fourteenth amendment is about due process and equal protection. This case is about two (2) adult homosexual men engaging in a private, consensual sexual act. The police were notified of possible gun violence happening in a John Lawrence’s home. When, the police got there, all four (4) police officers had their guns drawn and went in the house and came across John Lawrence and Tyron Garner in a bedroom behind a closed bedroom door engaging in a sexual act. Only two (2) of the four (4) officers said they witnessed sexual acts occurring, but both say they saw different things occurring in the room. The leading police officer had the two arrested and charged with “deviate sexual intercourse, namely anal sex, with a member of the same sex (man).” App. to Pet. for Cert. 127a, 139a. The applicable state law is Tex. Penal Code Ann. §21.06(a) (2003). It provides: “A person commits an offense if he engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.” The statute defines “ddeviate sexual Intercourse” as follows: (A) “any contact between any part of the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person; or (B) “the penetration of the genitals or the anus of another person with an object.” §21.01(1) (Legal Information Institute, 2003).
During, court Justice Kennedy said liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling or other private place. “Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government,” “The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual,” wrote Justice Kennedy (Oyes, n.d.).
I believe this case is deemed judicial activism. According to our textbook, judicial activism is defined as the view that the Supreme Court should be a creative partner with the legislative and executive branches in shaping government policy (Wasserman, 2011). Lawrence v. Texas was a landmark Supreme Court case where the Court held, a 6-3 vote, that a Texas anti-sodomy law, which criminalized homosexual behavior, was unconstitutional. The majority stated intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. An example of this being judicial activism is when the Texas law was deemed unconstitutional. The judges believed that everyone should be protected under the equal protection clause not just heterosexual relationships. I believe another example of this being activism is that they overruled the Bowers v. Hardwick decision implicitly invalidated similar sodomy statutes in 13 other states. The majority decision also held that the intimate, adult consensual conduct at issue here was part of the liberty protected by the substantive component of the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process protections. The third example would be that it was deemed the gentlemen both consented and were doing it in private not public.
The interest group I will be discussing that I like will be the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA falls under the single-issue interest group. A single-issue interest groups are formed to advocate for or against a single issue. One of the recent news stories regarding the National Rifle Association was for initiate 1639 which would criminalize self-defense. Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their soldiers, union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The main goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according, to a magazine editorial written by Church (NRA, 2018). The NRA’s interest in promotes shooting sports among America’s youth which began in 1903 when NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones urged the establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies. The NRA continued its commitment to training, education, and marksmanship. A special police school had been reinstated at Camp Perry in 1956, NRA became the only national trainer of law enforcement officers with the introduction of its NRA Police Firearms Instructor certification program in 1960 (NRA, 2018).
Washington voters who support the Second Amendment are couraged to oppose Initiative 1639, which poses multiple threats to gun rights. It also puts law-abiding citizens in jeopardy, without any significant impact on violent crime (NRA, 2018). The NRA partners with the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). It looks as Senator John McCain was a huge supporter of the NRA.
The NRA has a group called the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum Mission: to unite women of influence to defend our Second Amendment freedoms and help guarantee the future of the NRA through philanthropic leadership (NRA, 2018). “As the endowment grows, it will provide a dependable source of annual funding to financially develop and sustain critical NRA educational and public service programs in supporting the interests and passions of women who care deeply about the Second Amendment and in cultivating the next generation of leaders” (NRA, 2018).
I am a huge National Rifle Association is because I do believe in the right to bear arms. And I do bear those arms as a legal abiding citizen. I have done safety courses. And without certain types of guns our society would not be able to have food put on our tables.
My least favorite interest group would be the National Organization for Women. This group deals with a lot of different issues. As the grassroots arm of the women’s movement, is dedicated to its multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights and is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. The organization was founded in 1966, thier purpose is to act through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life (National Organization for Women, 2018).
Some of these would include reproductive rights and constitutional equality just to name a couple. This organization endorses representative Barbara Lee. The organizations priorities to win economic equality and securing it with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This will guarantee equal rights for women; championing abortion rights, reproductive justice along with other women’s health issues; fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, health services, and child custody; and ending violence against all women, no matter race, age, or socio-economic class.
Feminist interest groups are my least favorite because I feel some of the issues, they have been not an issue to me. Personally, I have never gotten paid less than a man doing the same job. This includes when I was a soldier. We all have different and unique perspectives.
Lawrence v. Texas. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved November 24, 2018, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/2002/02-102
Legal Information Institute. (2003, June 26). LAWRENCE V. TEXAS. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-102.ZO.html.
National Organization for Women. (2018). National Organization for Women. Retrieved from https://now.org//
National Rifle Association of America. (2018). Home. Retrieved from https://home.nra.org
Wasserman, G. (2011). The Basics of American Politics (14th ed.). Pearson Education.