Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The cat can't get any flatter

In the Fifth Circuit case of Doe v. Pryor, the Court held that there was nothing left to litigate over the anti-sodomy law of Alabama, in the light of the United State Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas.

In particular, the Court observed:

"The only federal court whose decisions bind state courts is the United States Supreme Court. See Glassroth v. Moore, 335 F.3d 1282, 1302 n.6 (11th Cir. 20 03) (“[S]tate courts when acting judicially, which they do when deciding cases brought before them by litigants, are not bound to agree with or apply the decisions of federal district courts and courts of appeal.”) (citing Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 58 n.11, 1 17 S. Ct. 1055, 1064 n.11 (1997); Powell v. Powell, 80 F.3d 464, 467 (11th Cir. 1996)); see also State v. Dwyer, 332 So. 2d 333, 334-35 (Fla. 1976) (Florida courts were bound by the Florida Supreme Court’s decision that a statute of that state is constitutional even though the Fifth Circuit had since declared the same statute unconstitutional). And the Supreme Court has already spoken on the subject in the Lawrence case. If J.B. has a reason for believing that the Alabama courts would pay more attention to a decision from a district court or this Court – both of which are “inferior Courts” of the federal system, see U.S. Const. Art. III, § 1 – than to one from the United States Supreme Court, she has not shared it with us."

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