My friend Bill Otis emails us with his take on Larry Craig’s effort to take back his guilty plea, and on the Craig matter generally:
Having been a criminal lawyer for 20 years or so, I can tell you that the chances that Craig will be able to revisit his guilty plea are about the same as the chances that the ACLU will find something wrong with Muslim footbaths.
The cast of characters here is hilarious. First Craig hires Billy Martin (Michael Vick’s lawyer), then he gets some free advice from Arlen.
On the slightly more serious side, I have to confess that I too have doubts that Craig was guilty of anything. Assuming the cop’s accounting is correct — that is, that Craig made a gesture with his foot and hand typically used to solicit sex — why is that disorderly conduct? Adults in public places solicit sex from one another, directly and indirectly, by word and by gesture, ten million times a day.
To say the obvious — that this sort of behavior is entirely unbecoming a United States Senator — is not to say it’s criminal.
Maybe I’m becoming libertarian in my old age, but I have to think that if an officer or agent had brought me a case like this when I was an Assistant US Attorney, I would have told the guy that he HAD to have better things to do than hang out in the men’s room waiting for the Larry Craig’s of the world.
I agree, I guess, although I’m sympathetic to trying to prevent sexual solicitation, and especially sexual activity, in the restrooms of places like airports that the public, including non-adults, has little choice but to visit. If a municipality has a vice squad, it arguably makes more sense to deploy its members for this purpose than for the purpose of combating sexual activity (and its precursor) that has no public component.
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