Friday, April 20, 2018
The ABA Journal reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will appoint a special prosecutor to argue that former Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s conviction for criminal contempt should stand, despite his pardon by President Donald Trump.
Arpaio is appealing a decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in which she ruled the pardon spared Arpaio from punishment, but it doesn’t justify vacating the conviction.
The Ninth Circuit issued the order in a 2-1 decision. The court said it was appointing the special prosecutor to defend the conviction because the government plans to side with Arpaio, who argues the conviction should have been vacated. Judges A. Wallace Tashima and William Fletcher wrote that the panel of judges that would ultimately decide Arpaio's case "will not receive the benefit of full briefing and argument unless we appoint a special prosecutor to defend the decision of the district court."