The president's constitutional pardon power is absolute, they thought.
Not so, argue lawyers and legal scholars in two proposed amicus briefs filed in US District Court in Arizona. They contend the Arpaio pardon is unconstitutional.
Judge Susan Bolton convicted Arpaio of criminal contempt on July 31, 2017, for demonstrating "flagrant disregard" of a 2011 court order that he cease racial profiling. For 18 months following the 2011 order, Arpaio had continued his racist practice of detaining Latinos without reasonable suspicion in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
While Arpaio awaited sentencing for his criminal contempt conviction, Trump granted him a pardon on August 25, 2017.