Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The ACLU: Senator Craig's Newest Pals

This is the sort of thing that makes me dislike the American Civil Liberties Union:
ST. PAUL, Minn. - In an effort to help Sen. Larry Craig, the American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that people who have sex in public bathrooms have an expectation of privacy.

Craig, of Idaho, is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to let him withdraw his guilty plea to disorderly conduct stemming from a bathroom sex sting at the Minneapolis airport.

The ACLU filed a brief Tuesday supporting Craig. It cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago that found that people who have sex in closed stalls in public restrooms "have a reasonable expectation of privacy."

That means the state cannot prove Craig was inviting an undercover officer to have sex in public, the ACLU wrote.

The Republican senator was arrested June 11 by an undercover officer who said Craig tapped his feet and swiped his hand under a stall divider in a way that signaled he wanted sex. Craig has denied that, saying his actions were misconstrued.

The ACLU argued that even if Craig was inviting the officer to have sex, his actions wouldn't be illegal.

"The government cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Senator Craig was inviting the undercover officer to engage in anything other than sexual intimacy that would not have called attention to itself in a closed stall in the public restroom," the ACLU wrote in its brief.

The ACLU also noted that Craig was originally charged with interference with privacy, which it said was an admission by the state that people in the bathroom stall expect privacy.

Craig at one point said he would resign but now says he will finish his term, which ends in January 2009.
The law in question isn't about suppressing what the ACLU sees as a "right" for people to have sex in a public restroom.

Laws against public indecency are about protecting our children.

As a parent, I don't want my child to have to see or hear this type of adult activity going on between two men or anyone else while my kid is using a public bathroom.

With so many of our genuine civil liberties under assault, it's too bad that the ACLU wastes its time with cases like this.

But then again, that's what makes the ACLU the ACLU.