Perry Draws a Blank on Lawrence v. Texas
BY Trudy Ring
December 29 2011 8:15 PM ET
A landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay rights from 2003, involving a case out of Texas? That state’s governor, Rick Perry, who wants to be president, says he hasn’t heard of it.
Perry was asked about Lawrence v. Texas, the ruling that struck down sodomy laws in the U.S., at a campaign appearance today in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the National Journal reports. “I wish I could tell you I knew every Supreme Court case,” Perry said. “I don’t. I’m not a lawyer.”
He told a reporter afterward that he didn’t know what the case was, even though it began while he was lieutenant governor of Texas and the Supreme Court ruling came after he became governor. He did, however, cite Lawrence v. Texas in his 2010 book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, as an example of a case from Texas that has gone to the Supreme Court, the Journal reports.
After being asked about the case, Perry called the inquiry an “I gotcha” question and changed the subject to federal government spending. He did, though, emphasize the need for appointing “strict constructionist” justices to the high court. He also described himself as consistently “pro-traditional marriage,” claiming that was one of his differences with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, one of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.