PHOENIX - A bipartisan group of Valley lawyers gathered outside the federal courthouse Tuesday afternoon in downtown Phoenix. They spoke out against President Donald Trump's pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and in support of judges and the rule of law.
"The way this president has acted, the things that he’s done, in so many areas have nothing to do with the Republican Party that I grew up in. And it’s certainly not reflective of somebody who’s supposedly a conservative," said Republican lawyer and former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods.
"It’s not conservative to abuse the Constitution and to call people heroes who systematically abuse the constitutional rights of American citizens. People who are conservatives supposedly don’t want big, powerful government."
"And there is no more powerful act of the government than to deprive someone of their liberty. When people do that based upon the color of someone’s skin, there isn’t a bigger outrage that could be in this country. And we had it right here in this county front and center for too long. The good news is, we got rid of that guy," Woods said of Arpaio.
"It’s also not conservative to say that you believe in the rule of law and then when you have judges who apply that rule of law, regardless of the status of the person that’s in the defendant’s chair, that you go after them personally. You say that it’s all politics. You say it’s because of their political backgrounds. You misrepresent who they are and what they’ve stood for, for their entire careers. We are the lawyers of this community. And we know these judges don’t do that," Woods said.
Joe Arpaio faced up to six months in jail at his sentencing in October. A federal judge convicted him on a criminal count of contempt-of-court, for violating a judge's to stop his immigration patrols.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey wouldn't say Tuesday whether he supports the pardon, but he says Arpaio is a friend, who helped reduce crime in Arizona.
Gov. Ducey: Support for Arpaio not a slap at Arizona Latinos
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says his support for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio shouldn't be read as a slap in the face of the state's Latino voters.
The Republican governor on Tuesday would not say whether he backs President Donald Trump's pardon of Arpaio in a case where a judge found him guilty of ignoring a court order. The order required him to stop immigration patrols amid complaints that he was racially profiling Latinos.
But Ducey again called Arpaio a friend and pointed to a statement he issued after Friday's pardon crediting Arpaio with lowering crime.
The governor pushed back when questioned whether backing Arpaio overlooked the Latino population that felt terrorized by the sheriff's immigration patrols.
Ducey said he's stood up for all Arizona citizens.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.