Federal court to hear arguments in ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio pardon case

In this Jan. 9, 2013, file photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks to reporters in Phoenix. 

AP

Controversial ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio is back in court Wednesday in an effort to clear his name in his conviction that led to the controversial presidential pardon from President Trump back in August, according to Politico.

A federal judge will hear arguments in the case United States v. Joseph M. Arpaio. The former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, is expected to ask the court to vacate his original conviction altogether.

But by re-igniting the case, Arpaio risks the possibility the court could determine his pardon wasn't valid.

Arpaio's attorneys say the requests are aimed at clearing their client's name and barring the ruling's use in future court cases as an example of a prior bad act.

Arpaio was convicted in July for contempt. A federal court said in 2016 that Arpaio's policy as sheriff of using traffic stops and workplace raids to find suspected undocumented immigrants constituted racial profiling. He was convicted in July after ignoring an order to end traffic patrols targeting immigrants. 

Advocacy groups opposed to the pardon say have asked U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to declare the clemency invalid.

Legal experts say the judge isn't likely to undo the pardon. 

In a statement announcing Arpaio's pardon, the White House said his "life and career" exemplified "selfless public service."

"Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life's work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration," the statement read.

It added, "Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon."

Following the surprise pardoning, after advisers had reportedly told Mr. Trump not to follow through with the move, Arpaio insisted he "didn't do anything wrong" and questioned whether his judge was fair. 

Arpaio called Bolton biased and questioned the growing number of critics across the U.S. who denounced his pardon as a political reward for having been an early supporter of Mr. Trump's campaign.