Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan organization founded by former Obama administration attorneys, has charged that Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio is unconstitutional. As such, the advocacy group has insisted that U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton refuse Arpaio’s request to vacate his conviction.
Protect Democracy claims in an amicus brief that Trump’s pardon is not legal in that Arpaio was not simply convicted of a crime, but of violating the Constitution. As such, were Trump to pardon someone guilty of violating the Constitution, he would be violating his own presidential obligation to uphold the Constitution.
“The Arpaio Pardon does not faithfully execute the law; it sends a signal that public officials, so long as they are allies of the President, need not execute the law at all,” the brief reads. “The President cannot use the pardon power to invite other public officials to violate people’s constitutional rights.”
Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice had encouraged the court to dismiss the case, claiming, “the government agrees that the Court should vacate all orders and dismiss the case as moot.” When faced with this less-than-enthusiastic petition, Protect Democracy urged the court to appoint someone to argue against the pardon “in the event the DOJ does not vigorously pursue these arguments.”
According to HuffPost:
Protect Democracy argues that Trump’s pardon of Arpaio represents “a severe threat to our constitutional order” because it violates three elements of the Constitution: the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, presidential pardon authority under the Constitution, and the separation of powers.
Trump may feel that he is above the law, but those determined to protect the sanctity of our Constitution and government are wholly prepared to fight this abhorrent and un-American move.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.