case never broke through to the Atlanta, Georgia trial court due to a preliminary
hearing that was in favor of the District Attorney, but later decided to not
present to a grand jury because of the lack of developed evidence. Hardwick then followed through to the Federal
District Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Hardwick challenged the
Georgia statute that criminalized sodomy stating that it infringed upon his
constitutional rights. The case was appealed and reversed the ruling of the
lower courts. It was then appealed to the U.S Supreme Court asking a Constitutional
question. The U.S. Supreme Court then
issued a writ of certiorari to review the case further and examine if the Georgia
statute is unconstitutional.
Georgia police officers arrived at Hardwick’s residence where they we admitted
inside by a current roommate of the residence.
Officers then discovered Hardwick and another adult male in a bedroom
engaging in oral sex. Further police
investigation revealed that both male had given their full consent to the
act. The event took place in the privacy
of Hardwick’s home and had no consequences to any third party or persons. Both males were over the age of consent and
feelings were on mutual stand point. Although
the police were dispatched to the residence for another purpose, (later to be
determined invalid due to an outdated warrant for the arrest Hardwick) Hardwick
was still charged with violating the Georgia statute that criminalize sodomy
for both heterosexual and homosexual couples.
(1.) Is the Georgia statute law that prohibits
sodomy an infringement upon one’s fundamental rights of privacy? (2.) Was Hardwick strictly targeted by the statute
because of his homosexuality, and if so was he put in a higher risk of arrest
due to it. (3.) Does the U.S. Constitution protect the rights
of homosexual couples to engage in sodomy?
(4.) Was the 14th Amendment at any point violated during the
investigation procedure of the case?