Last edited: December 08, 2004

Friend of Court Briefs Accepted

Washington Blade, September 1, 2000
Metro News

By Bill Roundy

The Virginia Court of Appeals agreed August 25 to accept three amicus briefs, or "friend of the court briefs," in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Virginia Crimes Against Nature law, which makes a felony of all anal or oral sex in that state. Plaintiffs argue that the law is an unfair infringement on the states constitutional guarantee of privacy, among other arguments.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLUs Virginia chapter, and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a joint brief in support of the laws repeal last May. The Log Cabin Republican Club of Northern Virginia and the Liberty Project, a libertarian group, also filed briefs supporting the laws repeal. Commonwealths Attorney Mark Earley did not agree to allow any of the briefs to be filed, so the organizations had to appeal directly to the court to have them included.

Sam Garrison, the attorney who is leading the appeal effort, said that the courts motion was not surprising.

"I would have been surprised and bothered if they hadn’t [accepted the briefs]," said Garrison.

However, the court denied Log Cabins request to present oral arguments. Bill Kocol, the attorney who filed the brief on behalf of the club, said that it "would have been extraordinary if they had granted it. That’s not a surprise."

The case will be heard by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals, Virginias second-highest court, on Sept. 12 in Salem, Va.

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