Lawrence v. Texas

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Lawrence v. Texas

539 U.S. 558 (2003), struck down a Texas law criminalizing private consensual sexual activity between adults of the same sex, holding that the law violated liberty interests protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court found that the law furthered no legitimate state interest to justify intrusion into the private lives of citizens, stating “Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government.” In so holding the Court explicitly overruled the decision in Bowers v. Hardwick.

Learn More About Lawrence v. Texas

Dictionary Entries Near Lawrence v. Texas

law of the sea

Lawrence v. Texas

law review

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Lawrence v. Texas.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/Lawrence%20v.%20Texas. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!