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ACLU Defends Senator Larry Craig

This will piss off the fathead conservatives:

Conservative Sen. Larry Craig got support from an unexpected source on Monday. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief in court saying the lawmaker's bathroom bust was likely unconstitutional.

The ACLU filed a brief in court saying Sen. Larry Craig's arrest was likely unconstitutional.

The ACLU urged a Minnesota District Court to let Craig withdraw his guilty plea.

"Sen. Craig has not always been a great friend of civil liberties, but you shouldn't have to endorse the civil liberties of others to keep your own," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, alluding to Craig's history of voting against gay rights.[...]

The ACLU friend-of-the-court brief was submitted to the Minnesota 4th District Court.

"The real motive behind secret sting operations like the one that resulted in Sen. Craig's arrest is not to stop people from inappropriate activity. It is to make as many arrests as possible -- arrests that sometimes unconstitutionally trap innocent people," Romero said in a written statement.

Police must be able to demonstrate beyond a doubt that the sex was going to happen in public, he said. Regardless of whether it occurs in a bathroom or a bar, solicitation for private sex is protected speech under the First Amendment, the ACLU argues.

If the police really wanted to stop people from having sex in public bathrooms, they "should put up a sign banning sex in the restroom and send in a uniformed officer to patrol periodically," Romero said.

I bet the Republican National Committee is just itching to buy a judge or two at this point...

UPDATE: Craig returns to Washington:

Sen. Larry Craig returned to Washington Tuesday for the first time since public disclosure of his guilty plea in a restroom sex sting.

Craig was back at the Capitol "representing Idaho, working on transition, and meeting with his legal team," spokesman Dan Whiting said.

Craig arrived in the Senate chamber around noon to vote and receive greetings from fellow senators, including GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Mary Landrieu, D-La., and homestate Republican colleague Mike Crapo.

Other colleagues, such as John Ensign, R-Nev., and John McCain, R-Ariz. -- both of whom criticized Craig in the aftermath of the scandal -- seemed to deliberately avoid the disgraced Idahoan and at times he stood awkwardly alone.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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