Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence V. Texas

By | October 7, 2017
Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence V. Texas Author Dale Carpenter
ISBN-10 0393345122
ISBN-13 9780393345124
Year 2013-06-17
Pages 384
Language English
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Download Link Click Here

A highly informative detailed even thrilling account of how the Supreme Court arguments reshaped American law Michael Bronkski San Francisco Chronicle No one could have predicted that the night of September 17 1998 would be anything but routine in Houston Texas Even the call to police that a black man was going crazy with a gun was hardly unusual in this urban setting Nobody could have imagined that the arrest of two men for a minor criminal offense would reverberate in American constitutional law exposing a deep malignity in our judicial system and challenging the traditional conception of what makes a family Indeed when Harris County sheriffs deputies entered the second floor apartment there was no gun Instead they reported that they had walked in on John Lawrence and Tyron Garner having sex in Lawrences bedroom So begins Dale Carpenters gripping and brilliantly researched Flagrant Conduct a work nine years in the making that transforms our understanding of what we thought we knew about Lawrence v Texas the landmark Supreme Court decision of 2003 that invalidated Americas sodomy laws Drawing on dozens of interviews Carpenter has taken on the gargantuan task of extracting the truth about the case analyzing the claims of virtually every person involved Carpenter first introduces us to the interracial defendants themselves who were hardly prepared for the strike of lightning that would upend their lives and then to the Harris County arresting officers including a sheriffs deputy who claimed he had looked eye to eye in the faces of the men as they allegedly fornicated Carpenter skillfully navigates Houstons complex gay world of the late 1990s where a group of activists and court officers some of them closeted themselves refused to bury what initially seemed to be a minor arrest The author charts not only the careful legal strategy that Lambda Legal attorneys adopted to make the case compatible to a conservative Supreme Court but also the miscalculations of the Houston prosecutors who assumed that the nations extant sodomy laws would be upheld Masterfully reenacting the arguments that riveted spectators and Justices alike in 2003 Flagrant Conduct then reaches a point where legal history becomes literature animating a Supreme Court decision as few writers have done In situating Lawrence v Texas within the larger framework of Americas four century persecution of gay men and lesbians Flagrant Conduct compellingly demonstrates that gay history is an integral part of our national civil rights story 8 pages of illustrations

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