It took less than a week for two separate entities to challenge President Trump's pardon of racist thug former Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff Joe Arpaio. Via Jennifer Rubin, the Federal judge who convicted Arpaio of criminal content has stopped short of vacating the conviction:
Instead she ordered Arpaio and the U.S. Department of Justice, which is prosecuting the case, to file briefs on why she should or shouldn't grant Arpaio's request.
Bolton has scheduled oral arguments on the matter for Oct. 4, the day before Arpaio was supposed to be sentenced.
There is case law that says a pardon implies an admission of guilt, and that will have to be argued in open court.
Meanwhile, Protect Democracy, an activist group seeking to thwart Trump’s violations of legal norms, and a group of lawyers have sent a letter to Raymond N. Hulser and John Dixon Keller of the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department, arguing that the pardon goes beyond constitutional limits.
Put simply, the argument is that the president cannot obviate the court’s powers to enforce its orders when the constitutional rights of others are at stake.
Lurking in the background is the potential for Trump to pardon associates involved in the probe of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials and the possible obstruction of justice that followed. The Arpaio pardon may well have been an attempt to signal to those officials and ex-officials that they can resist inquiries with the assurance that Trump will pardon them. (Recall Trump’s unprecedented remarks that Michael Flynn should hold out for a grant of immunity.) Using the pardon power to obstruct an investigation into his own possible wrongdoing would signal a constitutional crisis.
A crisis that the Republicans in Congress could resolve simply by, I don't know, doing their fucking jobs. But the Party of Lincoln is happy to allow the President to destroy his office for personal gain, as long as they get their tax cuts.
Makes you long for the more-ethical days of Caligula and Nero, doesn't it?