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Criminal Law Keyed to Lee
Bowers v. Hardwick
Citation:478 U.S. 186, 106 S.Ct. 2841, 92 L.Ed.2d 140 (1986)
Hardwick was charged with violating Georgia’s statute criminalizing consensual sodomy. The prosecutor decided not to present the matter to the grand jury unless further evidence developed. Hardwick then brought suit in the Federal District Court to challenge the constitutionality of the statute, arguing that it violates the Federal Constitution. He argued that because he was gay, it placed him in imminent danger of arrest.
The Federal District Court dismissed the case, holding that it failed to state a claim. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed, holding that the statute violated Hardwick’s fundamental rights because his homosexual activity is a private and intimate matter that is beyond the reach of state regulation. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.
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