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Ninth Circuit Appoints Private Attorney in Arpaio Pardon Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit appointed Christopher G. Caldwell as the private attorney in the appeals case of Joe Arpaio today. The private attorney was appointed under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 42 because the Justice Department abandoned its prosecution in this case.

STATEMENT OF PROTECT DEMOCRACY LEGAL DIRECTOR JUSTIN FLORENCE

“The Court of Appeals has made the right move in appointing an experienced and qualified attorney to step in for the Justice Department in handling this appeal. Now the Court has an opportunity to ensure that the President doesn’t use abusive pardons to interfere with the ability of the judiciary to protect constitutional rights.”

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. On October 10th, the 9th Circuit 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.