The Intercept: A Federal Judge upheld Joe Arpaio’s pardon, but the legal challenge isn’t over yet

The Intercept reports with an update on our amicus brief calling out Trump’s pardon of former Sheriff Arpaio as unconstitutional. To read the full article, click here.

The beginning of the piece is posted below:

ALTHOUGH A FEDERAL district judge last week dismissed the criminal case against former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by President Donald Trump, lawyers who challenged the constitutionality of the pardon say the fight is far from over.

“I don’t think that the decision by the judge in the criminal case is the end of the story,” said Ron Fein, legal director at Free Speech for People, one of the groups challenging the constitutionality of the pardon. “There is a viable challenge that could be launched, and we are actively exploring this on the same grounds that we mentioned in our friend of the court brief and be able to expand on it.”

As The Intercept previously reported, Free Speech for People is one of a number of groups that filed friend-of-the-court briefs in Arpaio’s criminal case to argue that Trump’s pardon was unconstitutional. The basis of their objection was that the pardon power is not absolute, and it does not allow the president to pardon an elected official for ignoring a court order to stop violating people’s constitutional rights, as the former Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff did.

Now, Fein told The Intercept, the group is considering civil litigation on behalf of people whose rights were threatened as a result of Arpaio’s violation of the court order. Wanting to protect his legal strategy, Fein declined to share much about what the suit would entail.

“I think the basic argument is that the pardon violates the due process rights clause and constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws, and I don’t want to expand further on that,” Fein said.

 

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