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.”