President Donald Trump's pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Aug. 25 is being challenged in court.
Arpaio, who is self-described as "America's toughest sheriff," was found guilty of criminal contempt on July 31, according to CNN.
He was accused of violating a court order in a racial profiling case by continuing to target immigrants during his 20-year tenure as Maricopa County Sheriff.
The county is home to more than 4 million people, about 30 percent of whom are Latino.
Arpaio established an outdoor jail called "Tent City," where inmates wore pink underwear and were chained together.
"They hate me, the Hispanic community, because they're afraid they're going to be arrested," Arpaio said in 2009, notes Rolling Stone. "And they're all leaving town, so I think we're doing something good, if they're leaving."
The contempt verdict against Arpaio was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton, who wrote that Arpaio showed "a flagrant disregard" of the court order.
"Not only did defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise," she wrote. "Defendant stated on numerous occasions that he would continue to keep doing what he had been doing."
Now, Bolton is honoring the pardon by cancelling Arpaio's sentencing hearing, but has ordered Arpaio and the Trump administration to appear in court on another matter, The Inquisitr reports.
She has ordered Arpaio and the U.S. Department of Justice, which is prosecuting the case, to file briefs on why she should or shouldn't grant Arpaio's request, reports The Arizona Republic.
Because a pardon implies guilt of the party that is being pardoned, Bolton is in effect forcing Arpaio to admit to crimes in order for the pardon to take effect.
Meanwhile, the group Protect Democracy has sent a letter to Raymond N. Hulser and John Dixon Keller of the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department, arguing that the pardon goes beyond constitutional limits, reports The Washington Post.
"After repeatedly belittling and undermining judges verbally and on Twitter, now President Trump is escalating his attack on the courts into concrete actions," says Ian Bassin, executive director of Protect Democracy. "His pardon and celebration of Joe Arpaio for ignoring a judicial order is a threat to our democracy and every citizen's rights, and should not be allowed to stand."
In November 2016, Arpaio lost his bid for a seventh term as sheriff to Paul Penzone, a former Phoenix police officer, who has pledged to dismantle "Tent City," notes Mother Jones.