View Full Version : That Darn Court!

03-03-2005, 08:55:07
Ok, I'm trying to understand something.

The US Supreme Court decided that the Constitution gives to the federal government explicitly, the right to decide whether or not a man can stick his dick up another man's ass. But, the US Constitution specifically grants to the People (that's States) the right to decide what can or cannot be done to a woman or by a woman, as well as what can or cannot be sold, where, and under what conditions. So, its stated that it doesn't have the constitutional authority to rule on what happens to women, because that's a State's right.

Think about that. The Court has decided that it's the Feddies business what a man can or cannot do, but it's a State's issue what a woman can or cannot do. It has also just invalidated its own self-assigned jurisdiction to grant to women a federal right and standard for abortion.

Now, they said a lot more. Like, if they had ruled in favor of Pleasures (that's the business here in Huntsville that was sueing for the right to sell marital aids to adults), they would have invalidated all laws. And they mean, all laws. They examples they gave was: Incest would be legal, rape would be legal, all drugs would be legal to use and sell, murder would be legal, jacking their ride while they were trying to go home would be legal.

Er... that was the arguments put forth by Texas as why the Court shouldn't interfere with Texas's sodomy laws. The Court just regurgitated those reasons as why they couldn't overturn this stupid puritan law of Alabama. Bet if the law prevented the sale of Viagra, they'd have overturned it! But, since it primarily prevents women from getting relaxation aids locally (they have to order "whatever" via mail or internet), that's ok.

I think we should ask Venom to drive an explosives loaded van into their court and blow them up. Don't you? Of course, that would let Bushie pack the court with right wingers, but they couldn't do any worse then this court.

03-03-2005, 09:04:48
Sounds like the usual double speak used by authorities to insist up is down, black is white, and north is south.

Be educated in law enough and you can prove anything you want, even though anyone else with more than a single braincell would dispute it.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
03-03-2005, 09:22:45
Originally posted by Darkstar
Ok, I'm trying to understand something.

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Dyl Ulenspiegel
03-03-2005, 09:23:36
And what decisions are you talking about?

03-03-2005, 09:38:16
Which ones? They invalidated Texas's sodomy laws. Claimed that the Constitution granted to the Federal government the right to regulate sex and community standards. For the Pleasure's sex toys challenge to Alabama's stupid state law (I think it's a state law), they claimed that they didn't have the right to regulate matters related to sex, nor had the authority to regulate trade/vendors and their goods, nor community standards.

The Texas deal was a while back (sometime in 2004, IIRC), the state of Alabama versus Pleasures was last week, I think.

If it's just a straight community standards, they invalidated the State's ability to be final arbitrator of community standards in the Texas sodomy case. That's stated explicitly by the Court. But in this Alabama versus Pleasures case, it states that it cannot overrule local community standards. So, which is it?

The feddies clearly have jurisdiction, as the actual issue of what a vendor can or cannot sell crosses into Interstate Commerce (which is specifically granted to the Feddies). Pleasures doesn't just do out of state business, but a portion of its business is out of state.

The Court should have left off comments about having no jurisdiction over a female's body or what *anyone* does to it. That wasn't really the core issue. The core was Pleasures owner wanted to get the pissed off church wackos to leave the business alone so it could sell its lingerie, body/sensual oils, and everything else of interest to couples who are shopping for "intimate consumption". A few wacko prudes are using old laws on the books to hassle the business. As the business only sell to adults, I don't see what it matters. If a wacko righty really feels its wrong, they can just not go into the shop. Its not like Pleasures is sending sales-people into private homes and giving demos. This isn't Vegas, you know. ;)

Dyl Ulenspiegel
03-03-2005, 09:44:26
I'm always amazed at the odd way you think.

"Invalidating" a state law does not amount to federal regulation. Also, there can be many different issues with sodomy laws, but I doubt it was a question of exclusive federal power or conflict with federal statute.

"Claimed that the Constitution granted to the Federal government the right to regulate sex"

Exact quote, please.

03-03-2005, 09:54:28
Wait for Ash. He'll probably come along and give the actual case numbers. ;)

The US Supreme Court claimed that the First Amendment covers the right to have sex, as a physical expression of love. All expressions are a form of speech. Abridging a person's right to express themselves violates their right to free speech. If I've got time tomorrow at work, I'll play with Google and see if I can find their various exact quotes for you. It is a common claim put forward in the US courts. Sometimes judges agree, sometimes they don't, depending on if its someone fighting some race purity measure, or demanding their right to wank in the park.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
03-03-2005, 10:09:02
"All expressions are a form of speech."

As far as I recall that's not what the case law says. It qualifies that it aims to express a message, and that the respective audience will get the message.

03-03-2005, 10:34:53
This will be interesting to see the decision, eventually.

Home > Educational Resources > Teaching with Current Events > Constitution Newswire

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Sale of Sexual Devices

United Press International
MICHAEL KIRKLAND, UPI Legal Affairs Correspondent

February 10, 2005

WASHINGTON, Feb 10, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- In 2003's Lawrence vs. Texas, a strong Supreme Court majority not only struck down the Texas ban against homosexual sodomy, it more or less told government to get out of the bedrooms of consenting adults.

Now a group mainly composed of women is using that decision to challenge Alabama's ban on the sale of sexual devices, giving the Supreme Court a chance to explore the scope of its landmark Texas ruling.

The group specifically asks the Supreme Court to decide whether a federal appeals court made a mistake "in ruling that a state law criminalizing the sale of sexual devices, and thus burdening the private sexual conduct of consenting adults, is neither subject to heightened scrutiny (by the courts) ... nor influenced by this (Supreme) Court's decision in Lawrence vs. Texas."

Lawrence itself was in one respect the progeny of 1992's Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, which affirmed the essential holdings in 1973's Roe vs. Wade.

Roe, of course, recognized that women had a "liberty" under the due process, or fair proceedings, clause of the 14th Amendment that invested them with the sole decision to end their own pregnancies, at least until viability. That "liberty," or privacy interest, could be balanced against a state's interest in preserving the health of a mother and her fetus.

That same "liberty" applied in the Texas case, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his 6-3 majority opinion in 2003.

"Liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling or other private places," Kennedy said. "In our tradition the state is not omnipresent in the home. And there are other spheres of our lives and existence, outside the home, where the state should not be a dominant presence. Freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression and certain intimate conduct."

Kennedy pointed out that the Texas sodomy case did not involve minors, coerced conduct, prostitution or other public conduct, and did not involve government recognition of the legitimacy of a relationship.

"The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle," Kennedy said. "The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the due process clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government."

Quoting the opinion in 1992's Casey, Kennedy said, "'It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.' ... The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual."

While Lawrence was the progeny of other rulings, the 2003 decision has had no descendants itself over the past two years. The Supreme Court has had no occasion to deal with the ongoing dispute over gay and lesbian marriage -- though that may happen somewhere down the road.

The Alabama case, however, offers the justices a chance to discuss the implications of Lawrence vs. Texas and whether its ringing endorsement of sexual privacy really extends into every aspect of sexual practice.

The Supreme Court could decide soon, possibly by the end of the month, whether it will hear the challenge to the sexual-devices ban.

The Alabama state code says, "It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute, or offer or agree to distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value."

The statute carries a fine not more than $10,000 for conviction of a first offense and a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 for a repeat offense.

The group that challenged the statute in federal court is a varied one.

Sherri Williams lives in Florida but owns two "Pleasures" stores in Huntsville and Decatur, Ala. The stores carry "an extensive line of lingerie, exotic oils, lotions and lubricants, gourmet chocolates, instructional video and reading materials, marital aids, vibrating and non-vibrating sexual aids," court records said.

In 1997 gross revenues approached $450,000.

Signs on the door at both stores warn, "If you are offended by explicit sexuality, please do not enter. You must be 21 years of age."

B.J. Bailey is an Alabama resident who owns and operates "Saucy Lady Inc.," a corporation that conducts "Tupperware"-style parties in private homes at which sexual aids and novelties are sold. In 1997 Saucy Lady generated $160,000 in revenue.

The "user" challengers include a married woman who had been unable to achieve orgasm for 10 years before beginning to avail herself of sexual devices from Saucy Lady; a divorced woman in her 50s who uses the devices to avoid sexually transmitted diseases; two other married women who use the devices to "repair" their marriages; the husband of one of the women; a woman who finds it painful to have sexual intercourse, and Dan Bailey, the husband of B.J. Bailey and minority co-owner of Saucy Lady.

When the group first went to court Lawrence had not been decided, and a federal judge rejected the privacy rights asserted by the women. But the judge nevertheless struck down the state law, saying it served "no legitimate state purpose."

A federal appeals court reversed the judge and sent the case back down to U.S. District Court. The judge this time granted the challengers summary judgment without a trial, but the appeals court again reversed, saying the ban was narrow enough to pass constitutional muster.

The women and the two men then asked the Supreme Court of the United States for review.

In their petition the challengers said the Lawrence ruling "held that the constitutional right to privacy and personal autonomy protects private, consensual sexual conduct, regardless of its connection to marriage or procreation."

The petition also said there seems to be some confusion about the scope of Lawrence in the lower courts:

The supreme courts of Kansas and Colorado have struck down statutes similar to Alabama's in their states. Louisiana's high court did the same, but for different reasons. And the highest state court in Texas ruled that there was no fundamental right implicated by that state's sexual-devices law and said the law was a rational exercise of state power.

In its own brief opposing U.S. Supreme Court review of the case, Alabama points out that its ban exempts sales of sexual devices "for a bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purpose."

The law also does not affect the sale of ribbed condoms or virility drugs.

The state also argues that no substantive due process is violated because the ban does not apply "to the use, possession, importation or gratuitous (free) distribution of such devices."

(No. 04-849, Williams et al vs. Attorney General of Alabama)

03-03-2005, 12:07:38
Gee I really must be getting old. Read through all long posts (quotes) here and tried to follow but .... Why do they complicate things so ? Isn't is agreed that it's inconsistent to dictate what a man can do at one level but what a woman can do at a different level ? Ha ! Lawyers !

Anyway I'm glad I'm not where they make it unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute, or offer or agree to distribute any obscene (whatever that means) material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value. Damned cheek.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
03-03-2005, 14:12:47
I want to hear more about the exempt sales of sexual devices for scientific, educational, legislative, judicial (judges' pokey bum wank?) or law enforcement purposes. Sounds distinctively naughty.

"Isn't is agreed that it's inconsistent to dictate what a man can do at one level but what a woman can do at a different level"


A ban on a sexual practice is different from a ban on the commercial selling of sex toys. Well, both are stupid, but in a different way. At least legally. Clear?

03-03-2005, 14:38:54
Have fun, Roland.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
03-03-2005, 14:57:00
With sexual devices?

03-03-2005, 15:00:22

03-03-2005, 15:00:25
lewd gartenzwerg

03-03-2005, 15:50:16
Thanks for the summary/explanation, but the answer is, "Not different enough".

And what's all this about if they had ruled in favour of "Pleasures", they would have invalidated all laws, incest would be legal, rape would be legal, all drugs would be legal to use and sell, murder would be legal, jacking their ride while they were trying to go home would be legal ?

That like refusing your kid an ice cream because if you bought them one you'd be obliged to go to Australia and screw all the kangaroos, twice.

What's the connection ? Why can't they interpret their legislation sensibly ? What sort of laws have they got there ? And do you realise these are exclamations of hypothetical questions only ?

03-03-2005, 22:59:48
It's just some of the reasons I heard reported on why they ruled against "Pleasures". They don't want the Federal government being the final arbitrator of community (local) standards, except as required to protect our explicit federal rights.

I see the point of confusion for the Texas case now. "People" don't actually exist in the US Constitutional sense. All of our rights and representation is either Federal or State (The People) level, constitutionally. So anything left/reserved to the "People" means that your State is the arbitrator of what that a particular right actually is or permits. For instance, prior to Roe versus Wade, almost all the States had legal abortion, but they had different standards as to who could obtain one, and under what conditions. Most limited it to medical reasons, the products of rape or incest, or such. A few had more liberal terms. A few states outlawed it completely. Roe versus Wade changed that by making the right to abort an explicit federal right, rather then an implicit right left to the States.

:gotit: Now, that makes a bit more sense to me... Top Court doesn't want to be flooded with the trivial stuff. There's just been some bad comments by the justices, or at least bad quotes reported locally concerning the case. Or a bit of both.