SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR COURTHOUSE, PHOENIX, 10:00 A.M. PT
by Sharon Rondeau
The hearing will take place at the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. District Courthouse located at 401 W. Washington St., Suite 130, SPC 1 Phoenix, AZ 85003-2118 in Room 502 on the fifth floor at 10:00 a.m. PT.
A number of parties with possible political motivations have filed briefs urging Bolton to not only leave her conviction in place, but also to disregard President Donald Trump’s pardon of the six-term sheriff of the country’s fourth-largest county.
The July 31 conviction was issued by Bolton alone, without a jury, a point which Arpaio’s attorneys have unsuccessfully petitioned to the District Court and U.S. Supreme Court. They have argued that their client would almost certainly have been exonerated had he had the benefit of a jury trial to which they claimed he is entitled based on the statute under which he was charged.
Further, Arpaio’s defense team claims that the government charged him under an improper statute, as the law which should have applied contained a statute of limitations which had already expired and served to vacate the same charge against the three co-defendants.
Bolton does not appear to have addressed those claims.
For his part, Arpaio has stated that as a 50-year law enforcement professional, he should not have been “sitting at a defense table” regarding his actions while Maricopa County Sheriff. At issue was whether or not Arpaio knowingly violated another federal judge’s order to cease the operation of patrol units intended to identify illegal aliens within the county.
In May 2016, U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow found Arpaio to be in civil contempt of his December 23, 2011 temporary injunction and later, formal order, to disband the immigration patrols. Snow then referred the matter for criminal prosecution, which the U.S. Justice Department declared it would pursue just before early voting began last October in Arizona, when Arpaio was seeking re-election to a seventh term.
Last month Bolton requested that both the government and Arpaio’s attorneys submit briefs as to why or why not the conviction should be vacated. Interestingly, Justice Department prosecutors agreed with Arpaio’s legal team that the conviction should be subject to “vacatur.”
On Christmas Day 2008, Law Professor Dan Kobil told NPR that no presidential pardon “in living memory” had ever been “announced and then unannounced,” although the situation he specifically addressed was different. In that instance, President George W. Bush issued a pardon and then rescinded it the next day when political donations on the part of the pardonee’s father came to light.
While most applications for executive clemency are filed through the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney, that is not always the case, as with Arpaio, whose attorneys contacted directly White House Counsel Donald F. McGann II.
An article in LawNewz dated September 13 titled “Judge Considers Defying Trump Over Arpaio Pardon” suggests that Bolton could override the pardon; however, The Post & Email was unable to find any example of a federal judge taking such an action throughout U.S. history.
On Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported that according to “experts,” Bolton will “likely” not “overturn” the presidential pardon.