Nietzsche, Foucault, Scalia

64 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2006

See all articles by William B. Turner

William B. Turner

William B. Turner, Attorney at Law

Date Written: November 1, 2006


This paper explores the narrative strategies of majority and dissenting opinions in Lawrence v. Texas, Romer v. Evans, and Bowers v. Hardwick, all major lesbian/gay civil rights decisions. It demonstrates that the story of U.S. history - increasing protection for individual rights, or decreasing respect for moral and constitutional tradition - explains as much about the legal outcome as the doctrinal arguments that the opinions contain. In particular, it places these opinions into a discussion about the relationship between narrative and identity, individual and national. From this perspective, Justice Antonin Scalia shares with French philosopher Michel Foucault the belief that narrative is closely related to identity, with the important difference that Foucault celebrates the fragility of this connection while Scalia deplores it.

Keywords: narrative, gay, Scalia, Kennedy, Lawrence, Romer, Bowers, civil rights, identity, history

Suggested Citation

Turner, William B., Nietzsche, Foucault, Scalia (November 1, 2006). Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 06-28. Available at SSRN: or

William B. Turner (Contact Author)

William B. Turner, Attorney at Law ( email )

1809 E. Lindsey Street
Norman, OK OK 73071
United States
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4059242547 (Fax)


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