Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has made clear that if the United States Supreme Court were to overturn a ruling that enshrined the constitutionality of sodomy he would defend laws that enforce its prohibition.
On Wednesday, Paxton spoke with NewsNation for an interview where he touched on what his office was willing to do in reaction to any potential rulings that overturn rights such as sodomy. Paxton, who is running for re-election, was asked whether he would defend any Texas laws that forbade sodomy if the Supreme Court opened the door to allow it. Paxton was unequivocal.
“Yeah, look, my job is to defend state law, and I’ll continue to do that. That is my job under the Constitution, and I’m certainly willing and able to do that,” said Paxton.
Paxton was responding to a question related to a 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, a ruling that ultimately ruled state bans on same-sex relationships were unconstitutional. The nearly two-decade-old ruling resurfaced in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, which provided for a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion in 1972.
After Roe was overturned, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that the court may also revisit other past rulings including Lawrence and Obergefell v. Hodges decision that ruled same-sex marriage was constitutional. In both cases, Thomas wrote dissents together with fellow conservative judges, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito in the case of Obergefell.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote in his opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizations That overruled Roe. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous’ …we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
Rochelle Garza, the Democratic nominee running against Paxton in November and a former member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) slammed Paxton for his comments on supporting anti-sodomy laws. Taking to Twitter, Garza railed that Paxton and other opponents “won’t stop till they roll back all of our civil rights.”
“We MUST kick Ken Paxton out of office this Nov. When I’m Attorney General, Texans will have a Civil Rights Division to protect ALL of our rights,” wrote Garza.