Joe Arpaio, the famously truculent sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona,
is being sued by the U.S. Justice Department for refusing to cooperate
with an investigation into discrimination and illegal searches.
According to The Christian Science Monitor
"The Justice Department said it has been seeking documents relating to
its civil-rights probe for 15 months and turned to a lawsuit only as a
last resort." The blogosphere reacts:
- Who Is This Guy? Andrew Cohen at Politics Daily explains: "Arpaio often is applauded locally, and is well-known nationally for what he calls his "get tough policies," which include dying prisoners' clothes pink, feeding them at a cost of 15 cents a meal, and housing them in tent cities. His midnight raids on businesses, where he rounds up suspected illegal immigrants, have been scorned by his critics and applauded by his fans."
- What a Hypocrite, writes Prerna La
at Change: "Since Arpaio is a fan of asking immigrants for their
papers, it is not unreasonable to expect the Sheriff to show his own 'papers,' or records of accountability to his supervisors, and
especially since his office gets federal funding, which subjects him to
investigations under Title VI and compliance reviews... No one is above
the law. If we are going to put non-violent, non-criminal undocumented
immigrants in detention centers for mere civil violations, why is
Sheriff Joe Arpaio not in prison yet for obstructing a federal
- This Gels With the Administration's Goals on Arizona Law, writes Suzy Khimm
at Mother Jones: "With the Arpaio investigation and accompanying
lawsuit, the Justice Department is sending the message that it is
willing to add civil-rights protections to its priorities for
immigration enforcement—and go after authorities who refuse to take
- They've Got Nothing on Arpaio, writes Byron York
at The Washington Examiner: "ICE officials evaluated how the sheriff's
office performed [six months ago]... They found an 'excellent' working
relationship between the sheriff's office and the feds. ICE talked as
well to federal prosecutors in Phoenix, who described the cases brought
by Maricopa County as 'high quality.' ...In all, it's a quite positive
assessment of an operation that just six months later would come under
the Justice Department's microscope for alleged civil rights violations.
It also lends indirect support to Arpaio's contention that the Justice
Department investigation is politically motivated."
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