Menu

Ninth Circuit Lets Appointment of Private Attorney in Arpaio Pardon Case Proceed

The 9th circuit just issued an order denying en banc review on the question of whether or not to appoint a private attorney in the Arpaio pardon appeal. Protect Democracy, along with our partners, are amici in this case who have sought the appointment of a private attorney. As a result of the court’s order, an attorney will now be appointed. Please find a statement by our legal director below.

STATEMENT OF PROTECT DEMOCRACY LEGAL DIRECTOR JUSTIN FLORENCE
We are glad that the 9th Circuit decided to uphold the panel decision to appoint a private attorney. The Court needs briefing and arguments through an adversarial process in order to reach the best decision on whether to vacate Mr. Arpaio’s conviction for criminal contempt for violating a court order. As part of that process, the Court will be able to consider the constitutionality of the Arpaio pardon. We look forward to the appointment of a private attorney and the Court’s review of these important issues.

Background on the Joe Arpaio case
On June 22, Protect Democracy; Free Speech for People; the Coalition to Preserve, Protect and Defend; and the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center filed an amicus brief with the 9th Circuit opposing en banc review of the decision to appoint a private attorney is necessary in the appeals case of Joe Arpaio. The Court has now agreed with that position.

On April 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued an order appointing a private attorney in the appeals case of Joe Arpaio. This order followed a request from Protect Democracy; Free Speech for People; the Coalition to Preserve, Protect and Defend; and the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center seeking the appointment of this attorney.

Mr. Arpaio was convicted for contempt of court for violating court orders protecting the constitutional rights of private litigants. After President Trump pardoned Mr. Arpaio in August 2017, Mr. Arpaio sought to use the pardon as a basis to vacate his conviction. Protect Democracy filed a brief arguing that the pardon exceeded the President’s constitutional authority and was therefore invalid. The District Court rejected Mr. Arpaio’s motion to vacate his conviction, and Mr. Arpaio appealed.