My comments on the case:

  1. Thanks to the CIPA decision, library patrons would need to ask permission from a library staff member in order to read this important bit of news (unless the library wasn't receiving e-rate or LSTA money, which most do).
  2. I think I just scored 220 geek points for finding a typo in the summary on ("Although the laws involved in Bowers and here purport to do not more than prohibit a particular sexual act...": replace "do not more" with "do no more".)
  3. My favorite sentence of the actual decision: "This, as a general rule, should counsel against attempts by the State, or a court, to define the meaning of the relationship or to set its boundaries absent injury to a person or abuse of an institution the law protects." This, along with other parts of the decision, implies that all laws prohibiting private consensual sexual acts may be unconstitutional. Hooray for blowjobs!
  4. The decision explains that while stare decisis (loosely, "go with precedent") is a very important principle, it is especially important when society has come to rely on the previous decision -- and that society has generally not come to rely firmly upon the former right of states to prohibit sodomy. They therefore explain that it is permissible in this instance, though generally a Bad Thing, to contradict previous rulings.
  5. The decision lists reasons that might give Texas the right to punish people for sexual acts: minors, fuzzy consent, public acts, prostitution, or whether the government was being asked to give "formal recognition" to a status or act, such as marriage. It also explains that none of these topics were germane to this case.
  6. O'Connor concurred only because Texas prohibited homosexual sodomy but not heterosexual sodomy. She maintained that states should be allowed to prohibit sodomy across the board.
  7. Scalia's dissent complains that the court has not consistently applied rules of precedent if they would stand in the way of the justices' opinions about how the case should be decided. He seems to still be bitter about the Planned Parenthood case that used the Roe v. Wade precedent as a fundamental reason for upholding individual sexual freedom. He also argues that because Bowers has been used as a precedent in many cases permitting employers to make decisions based on sexual behavior, for instance allowing deeper investigations when granting security clearances to queer people, society must therefore rely on Bowers too much for the Supreme Court to overrule it.
  8. Scalia says that society does have a legitimate interest "in protecting order and morality" which must be weighed against individual sexual liberty, but he cites a public indecency case. In my opinion, public order is not generally threatened by private consensual sexual acts. (It might be threatened by their absence, as in Lysistrata, but that's another matter.)
  9. Thomas, quoting Stewart in another case, calls the Texas law "uncommonly silly" and says he'd vote to repeal it, but he's not a Texas legislator and he doesn't recognize a Constitutional right to privacy, so he joins the dissent.