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It's Appeal Time


The Craig carnival continues. As promised, Sen. Larry Craig filed a motion on Monday appealing a Minnesota judge's ruling that denied his request to withdraw his guilty plea.

There is no information given in the motion (other than that Craig paid the $500 filing fee). But given Craig's much-publicized interview with NBC, we're sure to hear more about it.

Craig's attorney, Billy Martin, issued the following statement in response to the appeal.

"From the outset, Sen. Craig has maintained that he is innocent of any illegal conduct at the Minneapolis airport. Sen. Craig has a right to appeal, and we believe that it was a manifest injustice not to allow Sen. Craig to withdraw his guilty plea entered in August.

"Like every other citizen, Sen. Craig has the constitutional right to make every effort to clear his name. Sen. Craig is hopeful that the Court of Appeals, after reviewing our arguments, will reverse or vacate Judge Porter's decision denying his motion."

In other Craig news, the ACLU of Idaho defended its decision to come out in support of Craig during his first attempt to withdraw his guilty plea. In the group's most recent newsletter, Executive Director Jack Van Valkenburgh said that while Craig has opposed the group in the past, it's the ACLU's job to defend everyone's civil rights.

"When important constitutional principles and civil liberties hang in the balance, we defend everyone's rights. No matter who they are," Van Valkenburgh writes.

In the wake of many angry responses from those who view Craig's voting record as an assault on civil liberties, Van Valkenburgh said, "The reaction of some people to our involvement reminds me of how easy it is to emotionally respond to intellectual arguments."

The judge in the case disagreed with the ACLU, finding its argument had no standing.