Share
Explore BrainMass

U.S. Constitution

Part I
Read the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the following cases:

Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986)
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=U.S.&vol=478&invol=186

Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)
http://supreme.jU.S.tia.com/U.S./539/558/case.html

Part II

What societal factors may have caused the U.S. Supreme Court to abandon the rule of stare decisis in the Lawrence v. Texas and Bowers v. Hardwick cases?

Outline the major societal arguments that influenced the U.S. Supreme Court decision in both cases and the subsequent reversal.
Identify specific examples to support your explanation.

Examine some of the specific arguments used by the Justices of the Supreme Court in the majority and dissenting opinions.

Include any philosophical underpinning that might have influenced the thinking of the judges on the court at the time both cases were being decided.

Solution Preview

What societal factors may have caused the U.S. Supreme Court to abandon the rule of stare decisis in the Lawrence v. Texas and Bowers v. Hardwick cases?
Outline the major societal arguments that influenced the U.S. Supreme Court decision in both cases and the subsequent reversal. Identify specific examples to support your explanation.
Examine some of the specific arguments used by the Justices of the Supreme Court in the majority and dissenting opinions.
Include any philosophical underpinning that might have influenced the thinking of the judges on the court at the time both cases were being decided
Step 1
The rule of stare decisis was abandoned because there were societal changes since the time Bowers v. Hardwick judgment had been passed. In Bowers v. Hardwick it was held that there was no constitutional protection for acts of sodomy and that states had the right to outlaw those practices. The argument used in Bowers v. Hardwick was that the court could not protect rights that were not easily identifiable in the Constitution. Sodomy rights were not explicitly mentioned. The court had held in Bowers v. Hardwick that the right to commit sodomy was not explicitly mentioned in the US constitution. The judge did not want to give the right to sodomy. Now the rule of stare decisis is a legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions. The judges in case of Lawrence v. Texas decided not to stand by the decision in Bowers v. Hardwick and decided to deliver a judgment that was different from the ruling in Bowers v. Hardwick. The judges in Lawrence v. Texas decided not to abide by the precedents. The general rule is that a court should not overturn its own precedents unless there is strong reason to do so. So, it is presumed that there were strong reasons to overturn the ruling of the Supreme Court in Bowers v. Hardwick.
Step 2
The Bowers v. Hardwick decision was delivered in 1986 in which the constitutionality of the Georgia sodomy law was upheld. The Georgia sodomy law had criminalized oral and anal sex in private between consensual adults, when applied to homosexuals. Now since the judgment in ...

Solution Summary

This posting gives you an in-depth insight into U.S. Constitution

$2.19