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.”


  1. jason says

    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.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    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!”

  3. anon says

    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.

  4. hugo says

    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.

  5. Paul R says

    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.

  6. Larry says

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

  7. Jay says

    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.

  8. gregory brown says

    What is it with Texans electing governors who then have Presidential pretensions who were “Yell Leaders” in college?

  9. ShawntheSheep says

    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.

  10. HadenoughBS says

    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”.

  11. Pete says

    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.

  12. Bart says

    Wouldn’t the answer Perry gives be shorter and less complicated if someone asked, “So, what do you know?”

  13. melvin says

    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?

  14. Faggot says

    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.

  15. Jeff Kurtti says

    I hate these “gotcha” questions, like “Are you intellectually qualified to lead the United States?”

  16. RWG says

    This man is unbelievably stupid, and shameless about it as well. Any normal person would embarrassed to even leave their house in the morning with head that empty. How do people like Perry stay alive? What stops them from just walking into downtown traffic, or off a cliff? How did he ever manage to fly a plane without wondering aimlessly into a spinning propeller? What is even more totally amazing to me is that people actually vote them into office! Just wow!

  17. TJ says

    “Dumber than dirt” seems somehow too clean. How about “murkier than muck” or “slimmer than sludge?” Or how about a contest to find the ultimate characterization of one of the scariest, stupidest, sorriest excuses for a leader of men to ever draw breath?

  18. chris says

    Thanks to their most brilliant representatives that they voted for, no one is ever going to think highly of Texas for some time to come.
    I really do wish they would succeed already. At first I thought it was treasonous to the nation, but seeing how their over the top screw-reality-my-ego-and-wallet-is-bigger logic that comes form that state I could care less if they participate in this country anymore. Nothing but poison.

  19. Anon says

    @Chris, I like your comment but you don’t want Texas to succeed. Secede. And you couldn’t care less.

  20. Caliban says

    Note to journalists: All questions to Rick Perry should require him to list three things.

    It makes the work of comedy writers SO much easier!

  21. Robert in NYC says

    These low information republicans running for the presidency make the country a total laughing stock. None are qualified and none have much intellect, not even that other loose cannon hypocrite Gingrich.

  22. Rev. William D. Wilkerson says

    He is just another example of how very Very VERY lowwwww the GOP is allowing the barrel to be pried apart & boiled for candidate fodder.
    He’s known to be a Good Little WHORE in Texas & little more than another clown in the Circus Maximus that is Austin & the “lege”.
    See Molly Ivins or any number of Natives [like me] who’ve witnessed the atrocities flowing from Sodom on the Colorado.
    01.2012 Vanity Fair article helps with defining him, btw…

  23. Jay G. says

    Perry has done at least one thing most thought impossible, he makes W look smart. His presidential campaign has been such a disaster that he might not even be re-electable as governor.