Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sanity for Maricopa County, Arizona?

The trainwreck that was the Rule of Law in Maricopa County, Arizona caused in large part by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his sweetie/ally, County Attorney Andrew Thomas may finally be reaching its end.  It certainly reached its nadir with the arrests of County Judges and racketeering lawsuits filed last week by Thomas against most of the county officials not named, Joe Arpaio.  As you will recall I offered the opinion that Thomas may have erred in invoking the jurisdiction of the federal court; as it turns out the Arizona Supreme Court decided to act, as we say in the law: forthwith.

Chief Justice Rebecca Berch of the Arizona Supreme Court appointed her predecessor, former Chief Justice Ruth McGregor as "special master" for all things Maricopa.  In her order granting broad jurisdiction to former Chief Justice McGregor, Chief Justice Berch alluded to a "public safety emergency" in the offing generated by the allegations and counter charges that could result in disqualification of the very people the citizens of Maricopa County elected to administer their county adn criminal justice system.  By the way, Maricopa County--this is what you got when you bought into Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the demagoguery of "the toughest sheriff in America." 

The reason I obssess about clowns like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is that he is the poster boy for official thuggery wrapped in the flag of patriotism.  He is a petty tyrant who given reign by the citizens of Maricopa County demonstrated that he and unprincipaled lawyers can shut down a democratically-elected govenrment.  It's an amazing spectacle, we should not soon disregard the example of Maricopa County if we care about representative democracy.

Good luck Chief Justice McGregor.


  1. Thank you very much for this article. We citizens of Maricopa County, Arizona are under siege by these thugs Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Our president inexplicably continues to sit on this whole sale destruction of what was once a bonafide system of law in order. President Obama and Eric Holder where are you?
    Thanks to the attorneys in Arizona for standing up to these thugs since our democratically elected officials won't. Our top Democratic leaders here in Arizona, just stand by while these thugs Arpaio and Thomas wrongly incarcerate and kill their enemies, using our tax dollars to do it !
    The Democratic party (the supposed party of Civil Rights) has stood by and done nothing !
    Thanks again,
    Leonard Clark
    former chairman of the Committees to recall the unconstitutional thugs Arpaio and Thomas.

  2. Good luck to you, Leonard--while I by nature a ceentrist and somewhat tolerant of "tough guy" poses among law enforcement, Arpaio and his henchmen have totally lost their grip on what the job of Sheriff is--and the subsequent power grab is a serious breakdown in the ideal of justice and the Rule of Law. The most important thing Arpaio, Thomas et al., and really wingers-of-all-stripes; is that we are a democracy with a judicial branch designed inhernetly to protect the rights of accused, and minority interests. Arpaio is ostensibly an executive agent with responsibilities to preserve and protect the integrity of the judicial branch--not defy it.

    But we need to bear in mind, Arpaio is an object lesson, a corrective--your voters want "tough justice" this is what you get--don't forget this lesson! You may not get as outlandish an example of overreaching again for a long time.