Judicial activism has become a major issue in America, with rogue judges deciding they unilaterally have the power to create laws from the bench, which is exactly what’s happening in Arizona.
President Trump chose to use his presidential pardon powers last month when he granted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio a pardon over contempt of court charges levied against him during an Obama-era political witch hunt. The move caused some outrage among the Sheriff’s opponents, and now, the District Court judge in the case is refusing to comply with the pardon by not granting the motion to dismiss the charges.
— LawNewz (@law_newz) September 13, 2017
LawNewz reported that Judge Susan Bolton is reviewing the arguments filed against dismissing charges against Arpaio and has refused to grant the motion filed by the defense, despite the fact he’s been legally pardoned by the President of the United States. The Justice Department is on Arpaio’s side as well, but that’s still not stopping Bolton from defying the President and taking the law into her own hands.
In papers filed last week with Bolton, it’s argued that “The president can’t use the pardon power to immunize lawless officials from consequences for violating people’s constitutional rights.” However, Arpaio’s defense countered by stating the President’s pardon “moots” the case, and warrants “an automatic vacatur of all opinions, judgments, and verdicts related to the criminal charge.”
But opponents of the pardon are arguing that the President is undercutting the court’s ability to protect the Due Process rights of individuals by immunizing otherwise unlawful acts. Their claim is that “the president cannot be allowed to weaponize the pardon power to circumvent the judiciary’s ability to enforce and protect constitutional rights.”
In a brief amicus curiae filed Monday afternoon, it’s argued that “the power of contempt for violating injunctions requiring government officers to cease their unconstitutional actions – or risk fine, imprisonment or both – is a vital means by which the judiciary enforces constitutional rights. If the President may employ his pardon power to relieve government officers of accountability and risk of penalty for defying injunctions imposed to enforce constitutional rights, that action will permanently impair the courts’ authority and ability to protect those inalienable rights. The result would be an executive branch freed from the judicial scrutiny required to assure compliance with the dictates of the Bill of Rights and other constitutional safeguards.”
While to most objective observers, such arguments would seem completely irrational and at best, a stretch of the law as it’s written, in today’s times of judicial activism and the rule of law being all but ignored, they may just work on Judge Bolton, legal scholars argue. They claim that whole new set of standards in the courts called “Trumplaw” – challenges to the President actions based upon shaky and unusual legal grounds – may allow the arguments in the Arpaio case to succeed.
Several scholars, including some who oppose him, suggested that some judges appear to be adopting a new jurisprudence called “Trumplaw” aimed uniquely at this President; a method of judging cases which is aimed specifically at countering some of the practices of President Trump, even if this development means creating new legal principles and/or overlooking (or at least minimizing) other established ones.
In other words, leftist judges are resorting to pure activism and straying far outside of their scope of power to throw sand in the President’s agenda. As the New York Times explained, “Trumplaw” is a “a set of restrictions on presidential action that only apply to Donald Trump. This president cannot do things that would be perfectly legal if any other president did them, under this standard, because the courts will rule against his past demagogy rather than the policies themselves.”
The problem is this tactic appears to be working. Due to the seemingly outrageous arguments filed in Bolton’s courtroom, she’s now forcing Arpaio’s defense to write briefs on the legal issue of whether or not his case should be thrown out of court, despite the 1925 Supreme Court ruling affirming the President has “unlimited” pardoning power for a criminal contempt of court sentence, which, as LawNewz wrote, is “exactly the unusual type of pardon” involved with Arpaio.