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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    The ACLU steps forward to defend Republican Senator Larry Craig

    (CNN) -- 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 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.
    Craig, R-Idaho, was arrested in June at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota after a police officer in a bathroom stall next to him alleged the senator attempted to solicit sex. Craig pleaded guilty August 8 to one charge of disorderly conduct. When the case came to light earlier this month, Craig announced his intention to resign September 30.
    But days later, it was announced Craig would fight to overturn his conviction and may not resign. He filed papers September 10 to withdraw his guilty plea.
    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.
    Patrick Hogan of the Metropolitan Airports Commission said Monday that authorities are prepared to defend the way Craig's arrest was carried out, as well as at least 41 similar arrests made this year in the same public restroom.
    "Engaging in public sex in a bathroom is a crime and most people understand that without putting up a sign," Hogan said. "We saw a lot of communication about this particular bathroom on Web sites, and if we make it known that we're aware of it we can't be expected to enforce the law as effectively."
    Hogan added, "We believe the charges fit the crime and Sen. Craig agreed to the charges as part of plea negotiations."
    Craig has strongly denied he is gay. In an audiotaped police interview between him and the arresting officer, he repeatedly proclaimed he did nothing wrong.
    The officer said Craig tapped his right foot on the floor, which the officer said he recognized "as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct," according to a police report.
    The report alleges Craig then touched the officer's foot with his foot and the senator "proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times."
    At that point, the officer said, he put his police identification down by the floor so Craig could see it and informed the senator he was under arrest, before any sexual contact took place.
    "Government should make public restrooms safe for all, but it should do so in a manner that is really designed to stop inappropriate behavior, rather than destroying the lives of people who might have no intention of doing anything illegal," Romero said.
    Craig has supported a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. In 1996, he voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition to same-sex marriages and prevents states from being forced to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples legally performed in other states. Craig has also opposed expanding the federal hate crimes law to cover offenses motivated by anti-gay bias.

  2. #2
    PeterJasonMN Guest
    Of course.

    Hell if Sen. Craig had pulled a 4 y/o boy into the stall w/the intention of anally raping him they'd be all for it too.

  3. #3
    SaraJ is offline Banned
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    Who wants to be the uniformed officer sent in to periodically patrol the bathroom?

  4. #4
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    Police must be able to demonstrate beyond a doubt that the sex was going to happen in public, he (Romero) said.


    Not to offend the sensibilities of the esteemed ACLU Executive Director, Mr. Anthony (I'm a snob, educated beyond my level of intelligence) Romero... but I don't read that in the Minnesota Disorderly Conduct Statute:
    609.72 DISORDERLY CONDUCT Subdivision 1. Crime. Whoever does any of the following in a public or private place, including on a school bus, knowing, or having reasonable grounds to know that it will, or will tend to, alarm, anger or disturb others or provoke an assault or breach of the peace, is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor:
    (1) Engages in brawling or fighting; or
    (2) Disturbs an assembly or meeting, not unlawful in its character; or
    (3) Engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.
    A person does not violate this section if the person's disorderly conduct was caused by an epileptic seizure.

    Application of the "reasonable man" doctrine: Would someone of reasonable sensibilities be offended by a man attempting to "play footsie" with him under a stall divider while seated on a commode with his pants down?

    I think I would, and I am fairly reasonable.

    Mr. Romero... perhaps you would not, but for the sake of an experiment, I suggest you give it a shot one day while I'm "dropping the kids off at the pool" in a public restroom. I strongly suggest that it will be you who calls the police afterward to report injuries sustained in a severely violent battery.

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  5. #5
    PeterJasonMN Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by SaraJ View Post
    Who wants to be the uniformed officer sent in to periodically patrol the bathroom?

    If I remember right they have plainclothes officers doing this. The papers did a story on the guy who arrested Sen. Craig and according to the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport PD he's one of their best officers.

  6. #6
    gopherpuckfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterJasonMN View Post
    If I remember right they have plainclothes officers doing this. The papers did a story on the guy who arrested Sen. Craig and according to the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport PD he's one of their best officers.
    He's the Sgt. in charge of our Investigations unit

    The ACLU is overlooking something...

    The Constitution does not give you the right in invade someone else's privacy, when a reasonable expectation of privacy exists. The good Senator spent two minutes standing outside of the stall, staring in at him through the door hinge crack. The original, Interference with Privacy, charge was dropped by Hennepin County to get the guilty plea.
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  7. #7
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    Do we really need a sign to tell us that sex in a public bathroom is inappropriate?
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  8. #8
    Bob Loblaw's Avatar
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    I do not agree with the ACLU's opinion of the constitutionality of the arrest in this particular case (and many others, I may add), but I do appreciate the zeal with which they fight for anyone who's rights they believe were violated. If you took a poll of the ACLU card carriers, I would assume most, if not all, would say they hate the politics of Sen. Craig and think he and "his types" are ruining America. However, I would also assume most would still argue that, although they are definitely not on the same page politically as Craig, his rights are still important. They may not like what people say/do, but they'll fight to allow them to say/do it, and I respect that.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw View Post
    I do not agree with the ACLU's opinion of the constitutionality of the arrest in this particular case (and many others, I may add), but I do appreciate the zeal with which they fight for anyone who's rights they believe were violated. If you took a poll of the ACLU card carriers, I would assume most, if not all, would say they hate the politics of Sen. Craig and think he and "his types" are ruining America. However, I would also assume most would still argue that, although they are definitely not on the same page politically as Craig, his rights are still important. They may not like what people say/do, but they'll fight to allow them to say/do it, and I respect that.

    I suspect that they would also say that they hate republicans and traditional values too. Keeping a POS like Craig in the media spotlight would greatly further their agenda of making sure more left wing moonbats are elected by our undereducated voting populace that gets most of its "news" from Entertainment Tonight.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

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  10. #10
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    To follow the ACLU's perception of warning would-be violators, rather than to apprehend them, we would have to have signs and uniformed officers at every point where a citizen may have the opportunity to violate any law. For example, officers would have to be stationed in every aisle of a store so as to "warn" folks not to steal stuff.

    Of course, I can sit in plain sight in my large black & white, fully marked, police vehicle, at an intersection with a very large stop sign, a posted sign that says, "Right Turn Only, the word "STOP" painted in extremely large letters on the roadway along with two large arrows pointing right painted on the roadway surface, and drivers will still fail to stop and/or will make a left turn. The ACLU argument is just another way to avoid personal accountability.
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  11. #11
    countybear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw View Post
    I do not agree with the ACLU's opinion of the constitutionality of the arrest in this particular case (and many others, I may add), but I do appreciate the zeal with which they fight for anyone who's rights they believe were violated. If you took a poll of the ACLU card carriers, I would assume most, if not all, would say they hate the politics of Sen. Craig and think he and "his types" are ruining America. However, I would also assume most would still argue that, although they are definitely not on the same page politically as Craig, his rights are still important. They may not like what people say/do, but they'll fight to allow them to say/do it, and I respect that.
    So, I take it that you would disagree with my opinion that charging in to rescue the embattled Craig lends even more creedence to those who consider the ACLU to be attention-mongering issue-cravers, who are so consumed with chasing the spotlight that they are completely bankrupt of principle?

    I guess so.

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  12. #12
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    They suck. I cant be any plainer than that. He does too, evidently.
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  13. #13
    PeterJasonMN Guest
    Also note that they'll defend to the death the rights to get man-sex in airport shitters, or teach NAMBLA members how to fuck little boys in the ass; but when it comes to actual written down right such as gun rights, they're somehow absent then.

  14. #14
    Bob Loblaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    ..that they are completely bankrupt of principle...
    you say they are bankrupt of principle..I say they are extremely principled. Just not the principles you like. They'll fight their balls off for anyone who they think had had their constitutinal rights trampled. Man or woman. Young or old. Republican or Democrat. Christian or Jew. Neo-nazi or button-down John Q. Their principle is simple: the Consitution. Yeah...sometimes it pisses me off big time. Why should KKK assholes have the right to make a public speech spewing hate? They're dicks. Because the Consitution says they do, and someone is going to speak up for their rights. I don't agree with who they speak up for, but I do respect their willingness to stick up for anyone, regardless of how tasteless and shit-baggy they are, who's rights have been violated. If you have a beef with that, you need to get a time machine and go back to the Continental Congress and tell them to leave some shit out of the Constitution. In an odd way, I kind of think what we do is quite similar. We have to enforce the laws without passion or prejudice. The right to not have your face kicked in your house broken into while you're gone applies to all people...both the citizen we like and the jerkoff turd that we don't. But it doesn't matter...the law is the law, and we have a duty and obligation to apply the laws evenly and judiciously for all citizens we protect.

    PeterJasonMN hits on an interesting point: the 2nd Amendment. I'm not sure why the ACLU doesn't hammer this one. It seems to be the most neglected portion of the Constitution. I don't know why, and I'd be intereted to find out.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterJasonMN View Post
    according to the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport PD he's one of their best officers.
    Thats like being the smartest kid with downs syndrome... J/K I always wanted to say that.

    Anyway I wouldnt want to be the officer whos job it is to sit in a bathroom for hours playing footsy with other men. This is one thing that bothers me, If someone puts a plea of guilty in, and then later decides that they dont want to do that anymore and have a retrial, i think that is a joke.It is playing with the judicial system and shouldn't be tolerated.


  16. #16
    Jackalope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw View Post
    PeterJasonMN hits on an interesting point: the 2nd Amendment. I'm not sure why the ACLU doesn't hammer this one. It seems to be the most neglected portion of the Constitution. I don't know why, and I'd be intereted to find out.
    Because they don't recognize the right to bear arms as an individual right. They're not principled at all, they have rewritten the Constitution in their own minds and use their twisted view of it to push a specific agenda. They also believe that "separation of church and state" is in the Constitution, which it is not. They'll go to bat for any freak that gets offended at the presence of a Christmas tree on public property, but they can't ever be bothered whenever a public institution discriminates against someone practicing Christianity.

    The reason they're fighting this fight is not to help Craig, his career is over no matter what happens. They're simply using it as an opportunity to advance the cause of perverts who feel the need to share their sex acts with everyone who has to use a public bathroom.
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  17. #17
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    Craig has also opposed expanding the federal hate crimes law to cover offenses motivated by anti-gay bias.
    So if someone beats him up because they believe he's gay, it's his own fault that it wouldn't be considered a hate crime?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEK View Post
    Thats like being the smartest kid with downs syndrome... J/K I always wanted to say that.
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

 

 

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