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Tuesday, October 03, 2006 

No Texas Dildos at the Court

Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case concerning a Texas law that makes it a crime to promote sex toys shaped like sexual organs. Here's what happened...
An adult bookstore employee in El Paso, Texas, sued the state after his arrest for showing two undercover officers a device shaped like a penis and telling the female officer the device would arouse and gratify her.

The employee, Ignacio Sergio Acosta, says a Texas law outlawing the manufacture, marketing or dissemination of an "obscene device" including those shaped like sex organs is unconstitutional because it prevents individuals from using such devices, violating their right to sexual privacy.
I'm upset that the Court didn't hear this case. I'm not upset because I care about the issue itself. I'm upset because of the lost comedic opportunities. Some of the Justices are... lets say, sheltered. I'm reminded of the oral argument in Lawrence v Texas (which dealt with the right to gay sodomy) as described in Mark Tushnet's A Court Divided...
Spectators laughed as well when Justice Breyer asked Rosenthal for a "straight answer" to one of his questions. (Later Breyer expressed puzzlement about why people had laughed).
p. 170
We are missing out on oral argument comedy gold because the Court is not hearing this case.

Those social-issue cases (i.e. Lawrence v. Teaxs, Griswold v. Connecticut, and the ever easy to remember Bowers v. Hardwick) are often times the most interesting. What is the outcome of this one thus far?

Well since the Court denied cert, the appeals court decision stands. The law is still on the books, and Acosta's conviction under the law stands.

I'm a little surprised that the Court didn't take this one, especially since Colorado, Kansas, and Louisiana have struck down similar laws as unconstitutional, while Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas have upheld them. Maybe they want other courts to work on the issue more, waiting to see what others do. Or maybe they just don't care.

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