2012 Election | Gay Rights | Iowa | Rick Perry | Supreme Court | Texas

Rick Perry: What's Lawrence v. Texas?

PerryConusedOne day in the not-too-distant future, Rick Perry will disappear from the pages of the nation's newspapers forever. Unfortunately for him, that day has yet to arrive, and the Texan governor still has at least a few weeks in which to embarass himself on the record.

At a meet and greet today in Cedar Falls, IA, Gov. Perry was asked by a voter to "defend his criticism of limited government" in the Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas -- the case which, in 2003, resulted in Texas's anti-sodomy law being struck down as unconstitutional. Perry was Texas's governor at the time. According to ABC News:

“I wish I could tell you I knew every Supreme Court case. I don’t, I’m not even going to try to go through every Supreme Court case, that would be — I’m not a lawyer,” Perry said at the Blue Strawberry Coffee Shop here. “We can sit here and you know play I gotcha questions on what about this Supreme Court case or whatever, but let me tell you, you know and I know that the problem in this country is spending in Washington, D.C., it’s not some Supreme Court case.”

Maybe so. But seeing as Perry referenced the case in his most recent book, and seeing how Perry is trying to portray himself as the most stridently "pro-family," anti-gay candidate in the Republican field, he ought at least to behave as though he's been paying attention to the culture wars. You can bet Rick Santorum knows about Lawrence v. Texas.

ABC continues:

Asked by Ken Herman, a columnist with the Austin American Statesman, for clarification on whether he knew what the case concerned, Perry responded, “I’m not taking the bar exam…I don’t know what a lot of legal cases involve.”

When told that the Supreme Court case struck down the Texas sodomy law, Perry said, “My position on traditional marriage is clear and I don’t know need a law. I don’t need a federal law case to explain it to me.”

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  1. He speaks and all I hear is Dueling Banjos.

    Posted by: DAVID | Dec 29, 2011 5:30:37 PM

  2. Rick Perry's brain is as fried as Texas toast. If he doesn't know basic fundamentals, how can he be expected to run the country?

    There's also strong rumors that he's a closet case.

    Posted by: jason | Dec 29, 2011 5:30:55 PM

  3. Rick Perry is dumber than a refried cow pie.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 29, 2011 5:31:43 PM

  4. I would like to say that it is obvious to anyone that Perry is too stupid to be President, but then, the country elected Bush -- twice! What a tool. "Read my lips--no new Texans!"

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Dec 29, 2011 5:35:45 PM

  5. Strictly speaking, L v T had little to do with marriage equality, though it did offer a potential 14th amendment claim in that direction, as we see in Prop 8 cases. It was a case that eliminated technical Sodomy laws, which were irrelevant to marriage per se. So Perry's main offense here was not parsing the difference when told about it.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 29, 2011 5:38:03 PM

  6. I think it's most unfortunate for the rest of us that Rick Perry won't disappear into the sunset for a little while. Much more so than for himself.

    He ain't getting the embarrassment thing, either. He's quite happy with himself. Always was, always will be. Ignorance is bliss, for some.

    Posted by: hugo | Dec 29, 2011 5:44:06 PM

  7. Being governor of Texas is like being the manager of a fast food place. He is a moron.

    If he honestly didn't know this case, it's sad that he's made it this far. But the most antigay candidate? I'd say that Santorum, Bachman, or even Gingrich take that bitter-tasting cake. Perry has had sex with men.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 29, 2011 5:51:18 PM

  8. For the record, GWB was elected only once; we have the Supreme Court to thank for selecting him for his first term.

    Posted by: Larry | Dec 29, 2011 5:57:58 PM

  9. OMG... Is it possible Rick Perry might actually be dumber than Sarah Palin???

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Dec 29, 2011 5:59:28 PM

  10. RE his book: it is not fair to ask him questions about books he has not actually read. He just paid someone to write it for him.

    Posted by: Jay | Dec 29, 2011 6:02:55 PM

  11. What is it with Texans electing governors who then have Presidential pretensions who were "Yell Leaders" in college?

    Posted by: gregory brown | Dec 29, 2011 6:05:08 PM

  12. You'd think he would know the case that decriminalized his own extramarital sexual behavior.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 29, 2011 6:10:54 PM

  13. This is insane. Perry was governor of Texas in 2003, when this law was struck down. How do you not know a Supreme Court case that struck down the law of a state you were governor of at the time? Perry makes Dubya seem erudite.

    The fact that Perry does not know the details of a case he referenced in his own book also makes it pretty clear that he did not even read his own book, let alone right it.

    Posted by: ShawntheSheep | Dec 29, 2011 6:21:28 PM

  14. I meant write it.

    Posted by: ShawntheSheep | Dec 29, 2011 6:22:20 PM

  15. I've said it once...I'll say it again. Our governor is a real first-class dumbass. Here in Texas, I refer to him as a "Chicken-fried Gov".

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Dec 29, 2011 6:22:54 PM

  16. Anon is too easy on him re: marriage equality. I would say the case has NOTHING to do with marriage equality. It's about private sexual acts between 2 consenting adults, gay or str8. The fact that he doesnt know the case and then, when told its basics, makes a statement about marriage equality, says volumes. It tells me he doesnt know the existing law, doesnt follow important chnages in law, didnt write his own book, didnt read his own book and thinks that antisodomy laws are the same as marriage inequality laws. Frightening.

    Posted by: Pete | Dec 29, 2011 6:30:15 PM

  17. Brain dead, you are!

    Posted by: Harry | Dec 29, 2011 6:36:19 PM

  18. The story is up now on the American Statesman website:


    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 29, 2011 6:50:14 PM

  19. Ralph Wiggum: "What's a diorama?"

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 29, 2011 6:53:42 PM

  20. Wouldn't the answer Perry gives be shorter and less complicated if someone asked, "So, what do you know?"

    Posted by: Bart | Dec 29, 2011 6:55:15 PM

  21. Let's be fair about this.

    Mr. Perry, do you know you full name? And a followup, do you have any idea what your mailing address is?

    Posted by: melvin | Dec 29, 2011 7:22:39 PM

  22. What does Lawrence v. Texas have to do with marriage? As a proponent of small government, one would think Perry would be SUPPORTIVE of the Lawrence v. Texas case, which basically said two consenting adults cannot be arrested in the privacy of their own home for consensual sexual behavior. Some of the anti-sodomy statutes also applied to HERETOSEXUALS btw, and some even applied to ORAL SEX. So if you were straight man and had oral sex in your bedroom with your wife that would be illegal in some states. Same if you were gay. The Supreme Court basically said in the privacy of your own home, the government cannot intrude and control people's sex lives (as long as we're talking about consensual adults). It really has very little to do with gay marriage, but more about fundamental right to privacy in one's own home. Perry is CLUELESS.

    Posted by: Faggot | Dec 29, 2011 7:38:05 PM

  23. Moron.

    Posted by: Keppler | Dec 29, 2011 9:01:32 PM

  24. Is this surprising.

    Posted by: Cinesnatch | Dec 29, 2011 9:16:15 PM

  25. I hate these "gotcha" questions, like "Are you intellectually qualified to lead the United States?"

    Posted by: Jeff Kurtti | Dec 29, 2011 9:40:28 PM

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