The Department of Justice will not ask the Supreme Court to prevent a special prosecutor from being appointed to fight former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attempt to void his contempt of court conviction.
President Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio several weeks after a judge ruled that the ex-sheriff defied a court ordered related to racial profiling, but Arpaio’s attorneys have demanded that his guilty verdict be erased altogether.
A panel of several 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled, 2-1, to appoint a special prosecutor to defend the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton, who rejected a request from Arpaio’s lawyers to set aside the verdict.
Although the department won’t bring the case to the Supreme Court, the former sheriff’s lawyers told Politico on Wednesday that they still plan on doing so.
“The issue is can the prosecutor in a criminal case be replaced by the court, replaced by a judge, when apparently the court doesn’t like what the prosecutor is doing in it. It does have very far reaching implications," said Arpaio’s attorney, Jack Wilenchik.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment to Politico on the court filing.
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