Bowers v. Hardwick

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Determined the constitutionality of state anti-sodomy laws.

Full Case Title: 

Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986)
  • Fairness in the Courts


  • LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Joined Amicus Brief


Respondent was charged with violating Georgia's anti-sodomy law and challenged the law in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  The circuit court ruled the Georgia law unconstitutional, writing that the law violated the respondent's rights to privacy, and that the act was beyond the reach of state regulation because of the Due Process Clause.

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the circuit court, holding that the Due Process Clause did not confer any fundamental right on acts of consensual sodomy.

Bowers v. Hardwick was directly overruled in the 2003 case, Lawrence v. Texas.