Sen. Larry Craig has lost another round of his bathroom battles in Minnesota.
The Minnesota State Court of Appeals today denied his attempt to overturn his guilty plea in the famous bathroom sting of ’07 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Craig had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for allegedly tapping his foot and trying to solicit sex from an airport police officer back then, apparently believing that by doing so quickly and quietly that the attempted transaction would not be made public. But it was, several months later.
That’s when Craig, a Republican senator from Idaho who did not seek re-election, tried to change his plea. He figured he could beat the case in court.
But first a Hennepin County judge, and now the Appeals Court, said no (PDF).
As for Craig’s contention that his foot tapping was constitutionally protected speech, the court said no:
“A person using a restroom stall is such a “captive” audience with substantial privacy interests that would be intolerably invaded even by communications less potentially offensive than sexual solicitations. Thus, even if appellant’s foot-tapping and the movement of his foot towards the undercover officer’s stall are considered “speech,” they would be intrusive speech directed at a captive audience, and the government may prohibit them.”
So today’s Appeals Court decision concludes:
“Appellant has not shown that the district court abused its discretion in denying his petition to withdraw his guilty plea, and neither he nor amici have shown that the disorderly conduct statute is unconstitutionally overbroad, either facially or as applied to appellant’s conduct.”
Craig can file a petition for further review with the Minnesota Supreme Court, said Kyle Christopherson, of the state court information office.