This blog started out as a collection of scripts for an online radio show of the same name. It riffed off of my 2004 book, Musings from the Christian Left, now republished as The Conscience of a Catholic Radical.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Let Senator Craig Get Off

Larry Craig is arguing that he should be allowed to opt out of his guilty plea.

This does not sound like it will work very well. If I were him (or his lawyer), I would take a different tack:

While the purpose of the bathroom surveillance in Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is constitutional - the method is not. Unless direct indecent exposure or genital contact has occurred, soliciting consensual sex is a constitutionally protected activity. It is only when it becomes public sex can something be done about it. The Senator does not have to actually admit to soliciting sex. He can argue this point for the sake of argument in his appeal. The state has no interest in preventing people from contacting eachother to go to a private location to have sex, provided that no commercial transaction occurs and both parties are of the age of consent. If the "bait" in the sting had been below legal age and this had been indicated or the Senator had held out a bit of cash, they can bust him.

No exposure, no arousal, no attempted statutory rape or no solicitation to prostitution equals no cause to trample on anyone's right to free speech.

Its time to let the Senator get off.