President Trump outraged much of the country when he chose to pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted for criminal contempt of court after he refused to stop racial profiling practices within his department. However, a small victory was delivered on Thursday for all those who opposed Trump’s decision, as a federal judge ruled that President Donald Trump’s pardon is not as all-inclusive as he might have thought.
According to POLITICO, Phoenix-based U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton said that, while Trump’s pardon does end Arpaio’s prosecution for criminal contempt of court, it doesn’t wipe out the guilty verdict she returned in July or any of the other rulings in the case.
‘The power to pardon is an executive prerogative of mercy, not of judicial recordkeeping. To vacate all rulings in this case would run afoul of this important distinction. The Court found Defendant guilty of criminal contempt. The President issued the pardon. Defendant accepted. The pardon undoubtedly spared Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed. It did not, however, ‘revise the historical facts’ of this case.’
One of Arpaio’s lawyers, Jack Wilenchik, has responded to the news by saying that he plans to ask Bolton to reconsider her ruling. He’s also willing to appeal if necessary. He confidently told POLITICO:
‘We will challenge that order.’
Wilenchik also told Tucson.com that, by asking for all of the other rulings to be dropped, Arpaio’s attorneys are not “asking to undo facts.”
‘We’re not asking for expungement. There’s no such thing in federal law.’
As POLITICO noted, the battle over Bolton’s guilty verdict, as well as the other rulings, appears to be “largely symbolic since the prosecution, the defense and the judge all appear to agree Arpaio’s prosecution is over and he cannot be punished for the conduct that led to the case.”
However, ethics groups and Democratic lawmakers have said that Trump’s entire pardon should be rejected because the president overstepped his boundaries by interfering with the judiciary branch’s ability to ensure orders are enforced.
Many people on Twitter seem to agree with the lawmakers and ethics experts, and they have responded to the latest news about Arpaio with support for Judge Bolton.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images.