Monday, August 18, 2003

More on sodomy prosecutions in Virginia

Some "experts" seem to be dumbfounded that anyone can still be prosecuted for sodomy in Virginia after the Supreme Court's decision in the Lawrence case, according to this AP story about arrests made at a Harrisonburg book store.

I don't expect that the General Assembly will act to change the language of the Virginia Code unless and until someone with actual standing to have it declared unconstitutional convinces some court to do so, and then the legislature will act to limit the court's decision as best they can.

I recall that the Virginia Supreme Court's ideas about standing in the Richmond public housing trespass case were shot down 9-0 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Hicks case last year. The overbreadth of the statute did not apply to Hicks because he was not engaging in any First Amendment activity. It would seem wrong to throw out a criminal statute because of a possible constitutional defect that does not apply to the defendant raising the issue.

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