Will Judge Overturn Arpaio Pardon?

by Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis – When Donald Trump plunged a dagger through the hearts of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s victims and all justice-loving people by pardoning the racist serial lawbreaker, many threw up their hands in resignation. The president’s constitutional pardon power is absolute, they thought. Not so, argue lawyers and legal scholars in two proposed amicus briefs filed in US District Court in Arizona. They contend the Arpaio pardon is unconstitutional. Judge Susan Bolton convicted Arpaio of criminal contempt on July 31, 2017, for demonstrating “flagrant disregard” of a 2011 court order that he cease racial profiling. For 18 months following the 2011 order, Arpaio had continued his racist practice of detaining Latinos without reasonable suspicion in violation of the Fourth Amendment. While Arpaio awaited sentencing for his criminal contempt conviction, Trump granted him a pardon on August 25, 2017. After Trump announced the pardon, Arpaio...

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