House Dems Ask Federal Judge To Reject Trump Pardon Of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by Joe Arpaio, the then sheriff of metro Phoenix, during a news conference in Marshalltown, Iowa. The former Phoenix-area sheriff who was pardoned by President Donald Trump from his federal contempt-of-court conviction in an immigration case is experiencing a wobbly return to the public speaking circuit.In Las Vegas, security concerns prompted event planners to move Arpaio’s scheduled weekend appearance to an undisclosed location away from the casino-lined Strip tourist district. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
Mary Altaffer/AP

More than 30 House Democrats have filed an amicus brief asking a federal judge to reject President Donald Trump’s pardon of controversial former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Trump announced he would pardon Arpaio of his criminal contempt of court conviction for racially profiling against Latinos while serving as county sheriff in Maricopa County in Arizona. Arpaio was an early Trump supporter and the President said he was treated “unbelievably unfairly.

But House Democrats think his pardon is unconstitutional and intrudes on the judicial branch, Politico reported.

“A full and unconditional presidential pardon….effectively deprives the Court of ‘the independent means of self-protection,’ and makes the Court dependent on the Executive,” the House members wrote. “The pardon here is an intentional usurpation of the Court’s authority by the President. President Trump does not pretend that his pardon of the Defendant is based upon the considerations of grace that usually justify the exercise of the pardon power.”

Arpaio was found guilty of contempt of court in July and Trump pardoned the former sheriff on Aug. 25.

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Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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