Texas Judge Who Opposed State Sodomy Law Is Retiring
February 6, 2001
A judge on the Texas court of appeals who enraged fellow Republicans by
voting against the states sodomy law in a decision last year plans to
retire next month, two years before his term is scheduled to end, the Houston
Chronicle reports. Paul Murphy, chief justice of the 14th circuit Texas court
of appeals, said the sodomy ruling plays no role in his decision to step down.
He said that an increased case load and poor pay led to his decision.
"Serving as a member of the judiciary has been a rewarding and
challenging experience, if not frustrating at times," Murphy said. Last
June Murphy and Judge John Anderson ruled that the state law banning gay sex
violates the state constitution. Another judge, J. Harvey Hudson, dissented.
One week after the ruling, the Republican Party of the state attacked Murphy
and Anderson in the party platform and called on members to oppose their
reelection. The party, which supports the sodomy law, also publicly rebuked
the two judges. Anderson was reelected without opposition last November, after
the party was unable to recruit an opponent. The sodomy ruling is being
appealed by the state. When asked about Murphys retirement, Texas
Republican Party spokesman Ted Royer told the paper, "I dont think we
will add any comment; I think we will just let the actions speak for
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