I tried to take the high road.
I really did.
And then Rick Perry didn’t know the significance or subject matter of Lawrence v. Texas (2003). This was a decision by the US Supreme Court repealing anti-sodomy laws in Texas (and elsewhere) and was decided under his tenure as governor. The state spent money to defend it! Further, he mentioned it in his book, Fed Up!:
He wrote, “Since I have been governor, a significant number of cases involving Texas or Texans have gone to the U.S. Supreme Court. From posting the Ten Commandments in the public square to our right to execute a murdering rapist who happens to be a foreign national, we have had to kiss the ring of the Court and have done so, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Texans have long been involved in significant decisions before the Court, and often we have been told we can’t do something. To name a few: Roe v. Wade (legalizing abortion), Plyler v. Doe (requiring the education of children who are illegal immigrants), Lawrence v. Texas (outlawing anti-sodomy laws), Santa Fe Independent School District (prohibiting student-led prayer at football games), League of Latin American Citizens v. Perry (ordering the reconfiguration of a congressional district), and numerous others. It seems Texans have a different view of the world than do the nine oligarchs in robes.”
There’s another reason this is significant. You know that whole judicial activism thing? This decision led to a large expansion of privacy rights which Justice Clarence Thomas addresses in his dissent as not being found within the US Constitution. For the record, I disagree with Thomas - the right to privacy is established through precedent interpreted from the constitution, but whatever. Lawrence is one of several decisions frequently cited by conservatives as judicial activism - and one Perry cites in his book.
It’s required knowledge for social conservatives. I would argue it’s also required knowledge for the governor who signed off on billing the taxpayers for its defense. Rick Santorum discussing the case on Glenn Beck’s show in April:
"If the Supreme Court changes the legal standard to say that consensual sexual activity is a constitutional right, then we open up the gates for all sorts of consensual activity. It’s a legal argument.
So Perry, I am disappoint. I expect little from you, but damn son. You managed to smash face-first into the lowered bar of expectations I have for you.