Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's presidential pardon from President Trump was accepted by a federal judge Wednesday, effectively dismissing a court case against the sheriff for disregarding a court order that demanded he stop profiling Latinos.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton dismissed the case with prejudice, which means the case can't be tried again but did not issue an immediate ruling concerning the Arizona sheriff's request for all rulings in the case to be thrown out.
More than 30 Democrats urged Bolton to ignore Trump's pardon and said it was unconstitutional in an amicus brief filed last month.
Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt by Bolton in July for refusing to obey a court order in 2011 to cease profiling Latinos. It was revealed that 17 months following the court order, he continued to detain individuals based on their immigration status, illegally detaining at least 171 individuals.
Arpaio was awaiting a possible sentence of up to a year in prison when Trump pardoned Arpaio in late August."A pardon issued before entry of final judgment moots a criminal case because the defendant will face no consequences that result from the guilty verdict," the Justice Department stated in its filing. "Accordingly, the government agrees that the Court should vacate all orders and dismiss the case as moot."
The Obama administration Justice Department launched a criminal investigation into Arpaio's actions following accusations of discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures in 2008. He was also accused of participating in "unconstitutional policing" against minorities by the Justice Department.
The Justice Department filed suit against him and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in 2012.