Supreme Court rejects Arpaio request to stop appointment of special prosecutor

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to overturn the appointment of a special prosecutor in the case involving a contempt of court conviction for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Attorneys for the former Arizona sheriff had asked the court to block the special prosecutor, Christopher Caldwell, from being involved as Arpaio tries to overturn his contempt of court conviction after he was pardoned by President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE in 2017. But the justices rejected that request in an unsigned order.

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had tapped Caldwell last year to look into the Arpaio case amid the former sheriff's attempt to vacate the conviction following Trump's pardon.

The Justice Department had previously said that it would support Arpaio in the legal battle. However, Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who represents the Trump administration in Supreme Court proceedings, had argued to the justices that they should not overturn the court’s appointment of the special prosecutor.

Arpaio’s attorneys had claimed that the special prosecutor's appointment was in violation of the Constitution's separation of powers clause, arguing that only the Justice Department can represent the federal government in a legal matter.

A judge had found that Trump's pardon prevented Arpaio from facing any penalty stemming from the conviction, but refused to vacate the ruling holding him in contempt.

Arpaio had been convicted of contempt of court after he violated a court order to stop detaining immigrants unless he had reasonable suspicion that they were in the country illegally.