Larry Craig’s still guilty

LARRY CRAIG’S STILL GUILTY…. Shifting gears from one scandal-plagued politician to another, Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) famously pleaded guilty last year to “disorderly conduct” in a Minnesota airport men’s room. After the news broke, and a scandal erupted, Craig initially vowed to resign, but later changed his mind and began trying to reverse his original plea.

Yet another court today told him that isn’t one of his options.

A three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected the Republican’s bid to toss out his disorderly conduct conviction. […]

Craig’s attorney argued before the appeals court this September that there was insufficient evidence for any judge to find him guilty.

In an especially entertaining development, it appears Craig’s attorneys argued that the senator’s foot tapping in the stall should be protected as free speech under the First Amendment. The court, believe it or not, did not find this persuasive: “[E]ven 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.”

In other words, Craig has the freedom of expression, but it doesn’t include sexual solicitations in airport men’s rooms.

Craig said in a statement that he is “extremely disappointed by the action of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.” He added that he’s considering additional appeals.

Far be it for me to give Larry Craig advice, but every time he appeals and loses, we’re reminded of the scandal all over again. Maybe quietly going away is the preferable course of action.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.