"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States

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Sunday, January 16, 2005
  What A Coincidence
The Washington Post had an article yesterday on a recent state supreme court decision in Virginia (hat tip: Instapundit).
The state Supreme Court yesterday struck down as unconstitutional a 19th-century Virginia law making it a crime for unmarried couples to have sex.

"We find no principled way to conclude . . . that the Virginia statute criminalizing intercourse between unmarried persons does not improperly abridge a personal relationship that is within the liberty interest of persons to choose," said the decision, written by Justice Elizabeth B. Lacy.
I wholeheartedly agree with the results in this case; government has no business interfering in the activity of consenting adults in the privacy of their bedrooms. What is especially interesting here is that the ruling by Virginia's state supreme court was based upon the ruling I've discussed recently in Lawrence v. Texas.
The ruling strikes down a law criminalizing fornication as a Class 4 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $250. The law had been on the books since the early 1800s but has not been enforced against consenting adults since 1847, lawyers said. The court based yesterday's ruling on a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning an anti-sodomy law in Texas. (emphasis added)
And later in the article:
Yesterday's ruling relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, which involved a man who had been convicted of sodomy. In that case, the justices ruled in favor of the right for personal relationships to be free of governmental interference.

"The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime," the opinion said.
This is one of the wonderful things about the legal field; a proper decision forms the foundation and provides the means for further proper adjudication. Hopefully we will see more "Victorian" (read: theocratic) laws overturned in a similar fashion.
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 7:13 AM


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