Monday, September 17, 2007

'Ya Gotta Love the ACLU . . . .

From McClatchy Newspapers this evening:

ACLU comes to Craig's defense

Erika Bolstad | McClatchy Newspapers - September 17, 2007 06:51:26 PM

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a friend-of-the court brief on behalf of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, saying Minneapolis airport police violated his Constitutional right of free speech in charging him with disorderly conduct after arresting him in an airport men's room.

The ACLU filed its brief in the same Minnesota court where Craig is hoping to withdraw a guilty plea in connection with soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in the men's room of the Minneapolis airport. The Idaho conservative, who rarely counts the civil liberties group as an ally, is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 26.

In its brief, the ACLU argues that the government can arrest people for soliciting public sex only if it can show beyond doubt that the sex was to occur in public. The ACLU argues that solicitation for sex in a private place is protected speech under the First Amendment, no matter where the solicitation occurs.

The sting operation used by Minneapolis airport police was unconstitutional and was so broad that innocent people could be caught up in it, said Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU.

"It is not a crime to solicit sex that would occur in private," Romero said. "It is a crime to solicit sex that would occur in a public place. What the state failed to show was that Senator Craig clearly expected to have sex in public."

On a related note from the Idaho Statesman:

Tourists flock to Minneapolis airport men's room

The site of Sen. Larry Craig's arrest has become a photo opportunity for travelers.
By Jeanne HUFF - Edition Date: 09/16/07

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — When you go to Minneapolis, you might put the Mall of America, the statue of Mary Tyler Moore or maybe even the zoo on your list of things to see.

Now tourists are asking about a new destination in the Twin Cities, says Karen Evans, information specialist at the information counter at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

A common request is, "Excuse me, can you please tell me where the Larry Craig bathroom is?"

Evans was just 15 minutes into her shift Friday afternoon and already had heard the request four times.

"It's become a tourist attraction," Evans said with a smile. "People are taking pictures."

And who would've thought there was actually one of these?!?

Life in these United States never ceases to amaze . . . .


Gazetteer said...

It really is rather tragic what is happening to all that was once exceptional about the United States.


Alison said...

Well, good on the ACLU but this entire saga is completely baffling. Is there a list posted somewhere of places where you're not allowed to hit on people?
Because if there isn't, this bust makes no sense at all.

West End Bound said...

True, true, true.

Where's a body to go and pick up tricks these days?

As Ross would say: Sheesh . . . .