The roommate invited officers in and directed them down the hall to Hardwick’s room.
Justice Stevens also wrote a dissent joined by Justices Brennan and Marshall. In Bowers, the Court held that this right did not extend to private, consensual sexual conduct, at least insofar as it involved homosexual sex.
The majority opinion in Bowers, written by Justice Byron White, framed the legal question as whether the constitution confers “a fundamental right upon homosexuals to engage in sodomy.” The opinion answered this question in the negative, stating that “to claim that a right to engage in such conduct is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ is, at best, facetious.” Justice White added a slippery slope warning about undesirable potential implications for other sex laws: And if respondent's submission is limited to the voluntary sexual conduct between consenting adults, it would be difficult, except by fiat, to limit the claimed right to homosexual conduct [p196] while leaving exposed to prosecution adultery, incest, and other sexual crimes even though they are committed in the home. The short concurring opinion by Chief Justice Warren E.
The legitimacy of secular legislation depends, instead, on whether the State can advance some justification for its law beyond its conformity to religious doctrine.” In August 1982, Atlanta police officer Keith Torick issued Michael Hardwick a citation for public drinking after witnessing Hardwick throw a beer bottle into the brush along Monroe Ave, thereby observing him violating the city’s ordinance that prohibits drinking in public.
Due to a clerical error, Hardwick missed his court date and Torick obtained a warrant for Hardwick's arrest.
The legality of the officer’s entry into Hardwick’s home was not contested; only the constitutionality of the sodomy statute was challenged.