Monday, January 21, 2008

Famous Texas Prosecutor Caught in Scandal


You may recall Lawrence vs. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court case brought by a man arrested for having consensual sex with a man in the privacy of his Houston suburb apartment. In a landmark 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down Texas's law against consensual sodomy and similar laws in 12 other states. The Court found that such laws violated the liberty and equality of all persons guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Charles A. Rosenthal Jr., the powerful Houston district attorney in Texas's most populous county, made oral arguments in defense of the state's law. His arguments included the following statements
"I think that this Court having determined that there are certain kinds of conduct that it will accept and certain kinds of conduct it will not accept may draw the line at the bedroom door of the heterosexual married couple because of the interest that this Court has that this Nation has and certainly that the State of Texas has for the preservation of marriage, families and the procreation of children," Rosenthal told the justices.

"Even if you infer that various States acting through their legislative process have repealed sodomy laws, there is no protected right to engage in extrasexual - extramarital sexual relations, again, that can trace their roots to history or the traditions of this nation."

Imagine the irony now that Rosenthal's own extramarital affair with his secretary has since come to light. The New York Times, in addition to many other news outlets, has printed two articles on the ensuing scandal.

Last week the Harris County Republican Party announced Rosenthal's decision to not seek reelection.

hat tip: Dispatches from the Culture Wars

2 comments:

TweetyJill said...

Joe, I think you are missing the point here:

"I think that this Court having determined that there are certain kinds of conduct that it will accept and certain kinds of conduct it will not accept may draw the line at the bedroom door of the heterosexual married couple because of the interest that this Court..."

Translation: Straight people (married or otherwise, come on, don't sweat the details) can do whatever they want in the privacy of their bedrooms or offices ;), for gay people, it is another thing.

Get with the game dude.

Joe Moderate said...

Thanks for "straightening" me out, Tweety :-)