2 responses

  1. Steve
    October 18, 2013

    Bowers had far-reaching effects. Especially in the 9th Circuit several opinions were based on it that are still precedent (and are sometimes still cited despite being indirectly overturned by Lawrence). The general narrative is that because homosexuality is illegal, it can’t be a protected class.

  2. Ben In Oakland
    October 18, 2013

    “But Powell refused to consider his deciding vote all that important. “I thought it was a frivolous case. I still think it was a frivolous case.” He considered his decision as “one of little or no importance,” because, he said, no one had actually been prosecuted for homosexual conduct.”

    Powell was far less than ingenuous in this matter. My own guess is the much later explanation: he didn’t know any gay people, and being a man of his generation, didn’t care. As I pointed out to him in a letter at the time: “Did you somehow miss the fact that someone had in fact been prosecuted under a sodomy law: Michael Bowers?”

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