JANUARY 16, 2008
Defending a disgraced senator’s scandalous airport bathroom escapade, a notoriously liberal civil rights group has filed a court motion arguing that people who have sex in public bathrooms have an expectation of privacy.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has presented the absurd argument on behalf of Idaho Senator Larry Craig, who was busted last year during a broad undercover sting targeting men soliciting sex in public restrooms.
The Republican senator tapped his feet and swiped his hand under a bathroom stall at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport in a way that signaled he wanted sex with the man next to him, who happened to be an undercover officer. Craig eventually pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct but has vigorously tried to withdraw the plea since the shameful incident became public.
A Hennepin County District Judge rejected Craig’s appeal in October and earlier this month the senator turned to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, claiming that the hand signal he used to communicate a desire to engage in sex is constitutionally protected and that the undercover officer he solicited actually invited the conduct.
Step in the ACLU, ironically a past nemesis of the ultra conservative senator. This week the organization filed an 11-page brief with the Minnesota Court of Appeals supporting Craig by pointing out, among other things, a decades-old Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that said people who have sex in closed stalls in public restrooms “have reasonable expectation of privacy.”
The brief also points out that sex is a constitutionally protected liberty interest and that the government does not have a constitutionally sufficient justification for making private sex a crime. This is so, according to the ACLU, even when the proposition occurs in a public place, whether in a bar or a restroom.
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