09 Sep 2007

Constitution Forbade Craig Arrest

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Bryan Fischer points out one little detail which we in the blogosphere and the MSM both absentmindedly overlooked. And he’s quite right.

As word comes of Sen. Larry Craig’s reconsideration of his announced resignation from the U.S. Senate, it turns out that his best ally in getting rid of his guilty plea for his conduct in a Minneapolis airport restroom may be the United States Constitution.

If the senator had been a better student of the U.S. Constitution, his arrest may never happened at all, and if the U.S. Constitution is followed, as of course it should be, the senator’s arrest and guilty plea will have to be vacated.

This is because the Constitution, in a straightforward and unambiguous manner, states in Article 1, Section 6 that “Senators and Representatives. shall. be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same.” (emphasis mine) The only exceptions are for treason, felony and breach of peace, and the senator, of course, was charged with a misdemeanor.

Since the senator was on his way to Washington, and did in fact cast a vote on the evening of the day on which he was arrested, his arrest and subsequent questioning were, technically speaking, unconstitutional.

If the senator had flashed the Constitution at the officer as soon as the officer flashed his badge at him, the officer would have had no choice but to release the senator to go on his way.

This little detail (which I should have remembered, having discussed it myself in relation to the FBI search of Congressman Jefferson’s office) provides quite a plot twist.

It is difficult to imagine a court seeing any alternative to throwing out that Minneapolis misdemeanor on Constitutional grounds. Senator Craig, therefore, winds up with no conviction, and does not need to resign. The State of Idaho, and the rest of America, gets to retain the services of a senator with a 96 ACU rating. A happy ending for all but the democrats.

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