Arizona County Must Follow Order Remedying Arpaio’s Misconduct (1)

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By Laura D. Francis

Maricopa County, Ariz., is still on the hook for the immigration enforcement practices of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The decision comes less than a week after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued another decision related to Arpaio’s immigration enforcement tactics.

Arpaio was pardoned by President Donald Trump last year after being convicted of criminal contempt. The sheriff and his deputies were found to have openly flouted federal court orders banning his practice of stopping Latino drivers and passengers—including day laborers—in an effort to uncover undocumented immigrants.

A federal judge in Arizona in 2013 ruled the practice unconstitutional after determining that Arpaio’s targets for immigration enforcement were selected based on race.

The judge issued a separate order in 2016 after determining that Arpaio and the county sheriff’s office deliberately failed to implement his earlier ban on the traffic stops, withheld evidence from the court, and minimized discipline for officers engaged in racial profiling.

The county must abide by that second order, the Ninth Circuit held July 31.

The county’s “repeated bad-faith violations of court orders” and the judge’s years of experience with the case “lead us to believe that the district court chose the remedy best suited” to cure the violations, the appeals court held. It also said the county is liable for the actions of the sheriff, including willful violations.

The case is Melendres v. Maricopa Cnty., 2018 BL 271325, 9th Cir., No. 16-16661, 7/31/18.

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