ACLU: Sex in public restrooms a "privacy issue"

When a Republican Senator needs the ACLU’s help in a criminal case, he ought take it as a sign his resignation is past due. The Associated Press reports:

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.”

The full story is at the link above. The ACLU is not solely at fault here, as they rely on a Minnesota Supreme Court precedent. One wonders what on earth possessed that Court to rule in such a way. Senator Craig might not appreciate the nature of the “help” delivered in this case, either, but he has only himself to blame for his predicament – both in the original instance, and in drawing the scandal out.

Had he followed through on his promised resignation and departed quietly from the national stage, we might (mercifully) been able to forget him and his transgressions, leaving him as a footnote in history.

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  • ras

    In an effort to help Sen. Larry Craig keep alive a story embarrassing to Republicans

  • ras

    In an effort to help Sen. Larry Craig keep alive a story embarrassing to Republicans

    I used the “s” tag. Do I need to use the “strike” tag instead. Let’s see.

    This line should have a strikeout thru it …

    cuz that’s what PIMF tells me.

  • ras

    Nope, both tags are apparently broken. Sorry for the confusion.

  • I wouldn’t deny that consideration played a role in the ACLU’s intervention, but I suspect they genuinely feel privacy for sex in public restrooms is a “civil right.”

    Which is another reason for their ever-increasing irrelevancy.

  • If it’s any consolation, I’ve never been able to get a strike tag to work here, either.

  • mantis

    The ACLU is not solely at fault here, as they rely on a Minnesota Supreme Court precedent.

    Their not at fault at all. Citing precedent is, you know, how the law works. Furthermore, they point out in the brief, which you can read here, that the expectation of privacy re: Bryant, is what the prosecutors cited in the indictment!

    But even if this Court could interpret the law to apply only to an invitation to have sex in public, a conviction here would be extremely unlikely. The Minnesota Supreme Court has already ruled that two men engaged in sexual activity in a department store restroom with the stall door closed had a reasonable expectation of privacy. They were, the Court held, therefore acting in a private, not a public place. State v. Bryant, 287 Minn. 205, 209-210 (1970) (conviction reversed). And the state seems to have acknowledged that Bryant is controlling here. When it charged the defendant with interference with privacy, it alleged that he had looked into a “place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy,” Minn. Stat. § 609.746(1)(c). That leaves no possibility of a conviction for soliciting an unlawful act under even a narrowed section 609.72.

    The text of the brief above should also clear up any confusion people might have reading the AP article. The expectation of privacy is tied to the location (a closed bathroom stall) not the act performed therein.

    Btw, the ACLU submitted an Amicus curiae in September claiming the bathroom “sting” was unconstitutional. Craig really should have talked to them before he pleaded guilty.

  • LoveAmerica Immigrant

    Which is another reason for their ever-increasing irrelevancy.
    I guess Mantis is trying to say that the ALCU is still relevant. People like Larry Craig can definitely get help from the ACLU. Also the terrorists can get help from the ACLU as well (

    So the ACLU is still relevant for the liberal left ‘s agenda of waging war on what is good for America. Just look at the effort the left will expend to make sure that sex in public bathrooms is legal and the terrorists have the maximum protection of the law. In contrast, they expend all their energy to make sure that surviving aborted babies are denied medical care (ie. killed). Wonder whether the left would consider this “torture” or not. No wonder Hillary had to claim that she is more an abortion extremist than Obama (who got 100% rating for NARAL) in order to get the votes of liberal democrats.

  • Piso Mojado

    Toe Tapping Larry was not having sex in the bathroom stall. He was soliciting it from a different stall than the one he occupied.

    What a waste of time.

  • Dave W

    Obviously the phrase “Public restroom” is lost on the ACLU and anyone who would have sex there.

  • Dave W

    Where do you draw the line and say screw precedent and actually interpret the laws how they are supposed to be interpreted?

  • Brian

    We shouldn’t be clogging up the courts with drivel like this. We need the Federal government and SCOTUS free to go after the big bait, such as Bono and Diane Keaton.

  • LoveAmerica Immigrant

    We shouldn’t be clogging up the courts with drivel like this.
    Yes, we, liberals, have important friends like Padilla to clog up the court. Also we liberals need to make sure that surviving aborted babies don’t clog up the courts either.

  • ExSubNuke

    At the risk of letting my inner freak show a bit, It’s not fun to do in public if it isn’t illegal.


  • mantis ~ I concur that Craig’s “offense” may not have been a violation of law even if the officer’s account is precisely accurate. However, pleading guilty precludes claiming you broke no law, doesn’t it?

    The ACLU is most certainly “at fault” for their part (I said they weren’t “solely at fault”). No one forced them to involve themselves. I understand leftists are loathe to hold people accountable for their own actions, though. Their brief you quote is self-contradictory: they DEFEND Craig for looking into a place where someone ELSE had an expectation of privacy by claiming that expectation excuses the violation? Who’s running the outfit now, Kafka?

  • LaMedusa

    Not only is the ACLU missing the point of the word “Public” when it’s in front of the word restroom, there’s one other suggestion here whether or not it’s intentional. Maybe Sen. Craig had previous encounters there, resulting in a sting. To me, this seems like a botched attempt at editing the Sen’s page in the history books.

  • spurwing plover

    And all the same time the ATHEISTS.COMMUNISTS.and LAWYERS.UNDERGROUND dont want you to have a nativity in your front yard becuase it might offend some liberal wussietard