The Arpaio Decision: When the World Is Extraordinary But the Law is Ordinary

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Media Outlet: Just Security

Joshua Geltzer wrote for Just Security on Judge Susan Bolton's refusal to vacate the previous orders in the case against former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, despite him being pardoned by President Donald Trump:

Earlier this month, Judge Susan Bolton deemed President Trump’s pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio to be lawful and therefore dismissed the pending case against him, which otherwise would have proceeded to sentencing.  But, yesterday, Judge Bolton refused to vacate all previous orders in the case, as Arpaio had requested.  That still leaves on the books her finding that Arpaio was guilty of criminal contempt, even if no punishment will flow from that finding thanks to Trump’s pardon.


Joshua Geltzer is an ASU Future of War Fellow at New America. He is writing a book exploring challenges associated with modern communications technologies such as social media platforms, file-upload sites, and internet search engines.