Last Updated on June 29, 2022
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hinted he would be supportive of the Supreme Court reexamining past precedents involving so-called same-sex marriage, laws against sodomy, and the use of contraceptives.
Paxton explained that he would be “certainly willing” to defend any law passed by the Texas legislature regardless of the circumstances.
“Look, my job is to defend state law and I’ll continue to do that,” Paxton told NewsNation in an interview.
Paxton’s comments come after Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a controversial concurring opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson case where Thomas encouraged the court to review past rulings made on “substantive due process.”
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas said.
Griswold v. Connecticut granted citizens the “right to privacy” (allowed married couples to obtain contraceptives), Lawrence v. Texas gave the right to “seek autonomy” in their relationships (privately engage in consensual/sexual acts), and Obergefell v. Hodges led to the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The SCOTUS justice called for the concept of substantive due process to be thrown out so the Court could reconsider these cases. “The Court well explains why, under our substantive due process precedents, the purported right to abortion is not a form of ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause. Such a right is neither ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition nor ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’”
Speaking with News Nation on Friday, Paxton was questioned on whether or not he would support the Supreme Court revisiting the cases mentioned by Thomas in his opinion.
“I’m sure you read Justice Thomas’s concurrence where he said there were a number of other of these issues, Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell he felt needs to be looked at again,” News Nation host Leland Vittert asked Paxton.
“Obviously the Lawrence case came from Texas… would you as attorney general be comfortable defending a law that once again outlawed sodomy? That questioned Lawrence again or Griswold or gay marriage? That came from the state legislature to put to the test what Justice Thomas said?”
“Yeah, I mean there’s all kinds of issues here, but certainly the Supreme Court has stepped into issues that I don’t think there’s any constitutional provision dealing with,” Paxton answered.
“They were legislative issues and this is one of those issues and there may be more. So it would depend on the issue and dependent on what state law had said at the time.”
Vittert further pressed Paxton, asking him “For the sake of time here, you wouldn’t rule out that if the state legislature passed the same law that Lawrence overturned on sodomy, you wouldn’t have any problem then defending that and taking that case back to the Supreme Court?”
Paxton explained, “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.”
“Ultimately, if it’s constitutional, we’re going to go defend it,” the Texas Attorney General concluded.
Watch the full Paxton interview here.
You may have seen the headline about this already making the rounds, but it’s worth watching Texas AG Ken Paxton (R) say he would defend the anti-sodomy law that SCOTUS struck down in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003 — that ruling established protections for same-sex relationships. pic.twitter.com/zWdigWGyoD
— The Recount (@therecount) June 29, 2022