The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade
last Friday, essentially kicking the right to abortion back to the states. Uber-conservative Texas has outlawed the procedure from fertilization, and now, it may someday revisit a ban on another thing that isn’t-anyone’s-damn-business: sodomy.
Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a concurring opinion that the court should reexamine Lawrence v. Texas, a landmark case protecting same-sex intercourse. Then, shortly after Roe was overturned, Texas’ attorney general appeared to say he might be willing to defend an anti-sodomy law.
During a Friday interview on NewsNation
, Attorney General Ken Paxton
avoided directly answering whether he’d consider targeting sodomy.
“You wouldn't rule out that if the state Legislature passed the exact same law that Lawrence overturned on sodomy, you wouldn't have any problem then defending that and taking that case back to the Supreme Court?” the host asked.
“Yeah look, my job is to defend state law and I'll continue to do that,” Paxton replied. “That is my job under the Constitution, and I'm certainly willing and able to do that.”
Since Texas is free-falling back into the dark ages, let’s look at some other laws that, at this rate, could potentially make a comeback someday.
Dumpster Dive Bon Appetit
This old law prohibits folks from eating out of their neighbors’ trash, according to a 2016 article on the website of Houston-based attorney David A. Breston
Standing Up? It’s Illegal to Sip Beer More Than Thrice
In a tiny Panhandle town called LeFors, it’s against the law to “take more than three sips (or swallows) of beer while standing.” Breston explains that the law’s background is pretty unclear but that it probably is linked to standing while drunk.
Refrain From Selling Your Organs, Please
In the market to sell your own liver, eyes, kidney, heart, skin or lungs? Not in Texas you aren’t. Texas Penal Code Section 48.02 says all the aforementioned shall not be hawked, although you can legally sell your blood or hair.
If caught offering your offal, you could stand to face a year in the slammer, plus up to $4,000 in fines.
Never Milk Someone Else’s Cow
Back in the day, Texas law banned milking from another udder. The illegal milker could get slapped with a maximum fee of $10. Breston went on to note that current laws also bar the act, but these days, the suspect would face “theft of personal property charges.”
Marry Someone Instantly by Saying It Three Times
The state of Texas will apparently recognize your marriage if you publicly state that someone is your spouse three times. Under common law, your partnership is legit if you live as a married couple, consent to the marriage and tell others about it. But your beau must be unmarried, at least 18 and not related to you.
It’s Against the Law to Shoot Buffalo from a Hotel’s Second Story
Don’t even think about it.
Do Not Dust That Public Building
Ever think to yourself: “Dang, that public building looks dusty"? We haven't, but somebody clearly has at some point in Texas’ history. The Lone Star State frowns upon feather-dusting such structures, although it's unclear why, or whether you could legally use a different instrument to commit the dusting.
Give Your Victims 24 Hours Advance Notice
Plotting to do something illegal? Well, all right, but you’ve got to tell your victims “within 24 hours of the crime,” per Breston. The warning can be given verbally or in writing.
Encyclopedia Britannica Ban
Texans cannot have copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica at home because it contains a beer-making recipe. Alas, home breweries are a no-no. Guess lawmakers could go ahead and add this one to state Rep. Matt Krause’s banned book list
Thou Must Obtain a Permit to Walk Barefoot
Cough up $5 and you can traipse barefoot around certain Texas cities. Lone Star lawmakers once wanted to keep up with appearances and hygiene. So, next time that hippie kid trespasses on your lawn, you can reasonably ask them: “Got a permit for that?”