Arpaio’s pardon: unconstitutional?
An advocacy group has filled a brief arguing that the pardon granted by President Trump to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio is unconstitutional.
A presidential pardon is not a universal amnesty.
So says the research and legal activism for democracy group Protect Democracy, founded by former students of the Obama administration, who last week filed a lawsuit alleging that President Trump abused his authority by pardoning Arpaio, ex Arizona sheriff recognized for his constant violations of the rights of immigrants and who was a supporter of the presidential campaign from day one.
On September 11, Protect Democracy - a non-partisan, non-profit group, introduced an amicus curiae – a way to offer information that bears on the case but that has not been solicited by any of the parties - in a federal court, arguing that Arpaio's presidential pardon is unconstitutional should not go into effect.
The report includes a communication to the Department of Justice, signed along with the Free Speech group, which was introduced last month.
According to the demand, although the presidential pardon has a broad power, it is not absolute. “The pardon power does not trump the rest of the Constitution”, explains the legal group in its website. " The Arpaio pardon violates the due process of law at the heart of the Constitution as well as core separation of powers features of the Constitution.”
The document was introduced in response to a motion by the former sheriff asking for a court to dismiss his sentence completely, to which Protect Democracy has asked the court to designate someone who counteracts Arpaio's if the Justice Department does not “vigorously pursue these arguments."
According to the report, “The Arpaio Pardon does not faithfully execute the law; it sends a signal that public officials, so long as they are allies of the President, need not execute the law at all,” the filing reads. “The President cannot use the pardon power to invite other public officials to violate people’s constitutional rights.”
The trajectory of the former sheriff is well known, having created a prison in the middle of the desert where the prisoners, of immigrant majority, were subjected to high temperatures in the open air. Even after refusing to comply with a court order that forced him to stop pursuing citizens with a specific racial profile, Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump, who had his support from the first day of the election campaign.
The advocacy group has decided to go directly to District Judge Susan Bolton, who oversees Arpaio’s case, and who has canceled the hearing without dismissing the conviction. On the contrary, the judge has planned a public hearing for October 4, where the arguments will be heard for and against the dismissal of the charges.
To read the full Protect Democracy report, click here.