Craig to Appeal Court Ruling on Wednesday

Posted September 5, 2008 at 1:26pm

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) is set to appear before the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Wednesday as he seeks to overturn a lower-court ruling that prevented him from withdrawing a guilty plea in connection with his 2007 arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

The Idaho Senator, who will retire at the end of the 110th Congress, was arrested June 11, 2007, by an airport police officer after he allegedly attempted to solicit sex in a men’s restroom. He denied those accusations but pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge two months later.

After Roll Call published an Aug. 27, 2007, report on Craig’s arrest and subsequent plea, the Idahoan called his decision to plead guilty a mistake and sought to withdraw his plea.

In October 2007, the Hennepin County District Court ruled against Craig, however, refusing to allow him to change his plea. Craig and his attorney, Billy Martin, subsequently filed an appeal, which the court is scheduled to hear in oral arguments on Wednesday.

According to the Minnesota Court of Appeals information office, the arguments will last about 35 minutes, with each side allowed 15 minutes, as well as an additional five minutes for Craig and his attorneys to rebut the state’s argument.

The Senate Ethics Committee admonished Craig in a three-page letter earlier this year, including criticism of his efforts to reverse his initial guilty plea.