Friend of Court Briefs Accepted
September 1, 2000
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 hadnt [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. Thats 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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