The Drama Builds in Marikafka County

As I wrote in a previous post, yesterday was the deadline by which Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe gave Dep. Adam Stoddard to apologize for swiping documents from a defense attorney's file in open court last month. In response, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio vowed that Stoddard will not apologize.

Sure enough, last night Stoddard called a press conference to announce that he wouldn't be apologizing to anyone. Here's the video:

Freelance journalist Nick Martin was there:

Before Stoddard walked off in defiance of his court-ordered deadline, Craig Mehrens, a veteran Phoenix attorney who has agreed to represent Cuccia in the case, called out to him through the crowd: “See you in jail.”

Stoddard’s lawyer, deputy county attorney Tom Liddy, stepped in to try to answer reporters’ questions. But the heckling by Mehrens continued.

Mehrens insisted several times that the detention officer had not written the prepared statement himself, implying that Stoddard was little more than a yes man for his boss, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

I still think Donahoe was wrong (and possibly exceeded his authority) to order Stoddard to apologize. He should have just held him in contempt from the get-go. Now the county may be on the verge of a constitutional crisis. That's bad for Donahoe, whose court now faces a crisis of legitimacy if he can't find a police agency to carry out his order. But it's entertaining as hell for the rest of us.

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  • ||

    Now the county may be on the verge of a constitutional crisis.

    The executive branch is coequal with the judicial. They are not required to obey unconstitutional orders from a judge.

    How is that a crisis?

  • Fluffy||

    Yes, they ARE obliged to obey.

    If they think the judge's order is unconstitutional, they can appeal it to higher courts in their state or to the federal courts. What they can't do is just ignore it and go whistling down the street.

    Because if they can, then any citizen should be allowed to ignore rulings they think are unconstitutional, also.

  • T||

    I'm gonna have to say that's incorrect, Fluffy. I know when I was a young paratrooper, we were told it was our responsibility to refuse to obey orders we thought were unlawful. Not that I ever saw it in practice, but it was drummed into our heads on a fairly regular basis. I can't see why cops are held to different standard.

  • ||

    Because there is a difference between an order from a superior military officer to engage in specific conduct that is unlawful, and an order from a judge directing you to take some sort of corrective or punitive action for your act of engaging in lawful conduct. And this is not a military setting, either.

  • ||

    oops - should be "your act of engaging in UNlawful conduct."

  • Medic001||

    Ya, but try backing up your feelings of "unlawful". I saw orders being given that were unlawful in the medical sector of teh Navy and I was transfered.

    So arguing against an unlawful order is as good as slitting your own throat these days.

    Well I'll tell ya. There another reason why I don't live in AZ.

  • Sovereign Courts||

    Well, Fluffy, you just said, in effect, that the Courts are sovereign and other branches of government are beholden to them, must obey. They can appeal to a higher Court if they don't like a lower Court's ruling.

    Which is a fine theory of government, but it is not a theory where there are co-equal branches of government. It is a theory wherein the courts are the pentultimate sovereign, and the Supreme Court the ultimate sovereign, and all other branches stand in relation to them as any citizen (or subject) of our robed masters.

  • Fluffy||

    Don't be idiotic.

    "Equal branches" of government does not mean that all three branches have the same exact powers.

    The executive can not [or should not be able to] make law by its own fiat. It needs the legislature to pass laws. Does that make the executive the slave of the legislature? Maybe, but that's tough.

    If the courts can not issue an order and have the executive obey it, there is no point to having courts at all and they should not exist. If the executive branch does not need to obey the courts, then there are no checks on the power of the executive whatsoever and we should just sign up to be slaves right now.

    The other branches can check the power of the judiciary by passing and signing legislation, and by appointing and confirming judges. Those are the ways in which the branches are "coequal". It's not "coequality" if the executive can just do whatever the fuck it wants at all times.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I've been using this word all day: heterarchy.

  • ||

    The executive can veto laws passed by the legislature.

    The executive can appeal to voters to replace members of the legislature.

    The executive can refuse to enforce laws it considers to be unconstitutional.

    All of these are checks by the executive on the legislature. What you propose is a system where there is absolutely NO check on the judiciary branch. (And the power to appoint judges does not count as a check -- it does not check the abuses of current judges in any way).

  • ||

    And Tulpa for the win...finally somebody gets it right on this one. The Judiciary can rule however, but it is up to the Executive to "execute". The Executive can tell the Judiciary to piss up a rope.

  • ||

    That assumes that Arpaio is THE executive of the county. Then I looked up the "structure" of Maricopa County govt. Obviously, NO ONE is in charge. Which is why Arpaio gets away with his nonsense.

  • anonymous||

    If the executive can ignore the judiciary, then it can also ignore the judiciary confirming that laws passed by the legislature are constitutional and ordering it to enforce those laws. Which means there are essentially no real checks on executive power. Given that the executive is the most de facto powerful branch to begin with, if not the most powerful de jure, that seems like a recipe for unchecked authoritarianism. Are you sure you're on the right site?

  • ||

    Ultimate sovereignty with respect to what is the law is rests with Congress--they just can't get their act together to exercise it. They can strip the Supreme Court of authority to hear cases and set up courts of appeal with whatever rules they want to, and they can remove federal judges and the President through impeachment anytime they want to. The deputy should apologize, and if he does not, he should go to jail. If Arpaio will not hold him to the judge's order, Arpaio should go to jail.

  • ||

    Any citizen should be allowed to ignore rulings they know violate the clear wording of the constitution -- and be cheered on and supported by their fellow citizens.

    It's unbecoming of free men and women to grovel to 5-4 SCOTUS majorities trampling on the constitution.

  • ||

    I wouldn't go this far. If each person is free to interpret the constitution according to his own whim, that's a recipe for chaos.

    Face it -- our system is loaded with ambiguity. The constitution does not specify HOW it itself is to be enforced. It depends on the various branches making life difficult for each other.

    And ultimately, it depends on the possibility that if enough citizens agree that the government's actions are unconstitutional, then they need to act on that opinion via the ballot box. In extreme cases where that option won't work, there's the Second Amendment.

  • ||

    Lest I sound like a complete kook and rabblerouser, I'll note that the citizenry has not yet acted at the ballot box, so a violent revolution is out of the question. Peaceful options must be exhausted before violence becomes an option.

  • ||

    First explain how the judge's order is unconstitutional. The court has inherent powers of contempt and to maintain order during its proceedings. This schmuck clearly acted improperly and inappropriately.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I'm gonna have to say that's incorrect, Fluffy. I know when I was a young paratrooper, we were told it was our responsibility to refuse to obey orders we thought were unlawful. Not that I ever saw it in practice, but it was drummed into our heads on a fairly regular basis. I can't see why cops are held to different standard.

    Word up. But I'm trying to figure out how an apology could be unconstitutional. No harm no foul?

  • Geotpf||

    Forcing somebody to say something violates their rights to freedom of speech (or non-speech)? It's a silly order-the judge should have just put the deputy in jail, although he was probably trying to avoid the very problem that is now happening, since he probably knew that Sheriff dumbass would not allow him to be arrested.

  • Big Negro||

    "Forcing somebody to say something violates their rights to freedom of speech (or non-speech)?"

    Really? Because when you take a plea bargin, you are required to admit what you allegedly did. I don't see this as all that different.

  • Rutiger||

    A plea bargain means the two parties are making an agreement. The defendent agrees to admit what they did in exchange for a lesser sentence. That's how it's different.

  • ||

    But it doesn't violate his freedom of speech. A court has inherent powers to hold someone in contempt and to fashion a remedy. It is not at all uncommon for a judge to require a person to apologize or perform some act as an alternative to serving jail time. Requiring the person to say, "I'm sorry; I should not have taken the paper" is not the same as requiring someone to endorse a political candidate he does not support or make some other statement that would infringe his First Amendment rights.

  • ||

    So by that same token, wouldn't forcing a thief to wear a sandwich board saying "I stole from Wal-Mart" in the Wal-Mart parking lot also be a violation? Yet that happens all the times and seems to be constitutional.

  • Moose||

    I can see both sides, but I wind up having to fault the judge for handling it the way he did.

    The judge, as Mr. Balko noted, should have held the deputy in contempt of court for the privileged-document snooping from the start. Holding him in contempt for refusing to apologize is shaky from a constitutional standpoint.

    If he had simply told the deputy, "I will hold you in contempt of court for the attorney-client privilege violation UNLESS you apologize-- your choice", that might have been a legitimate, if lenient, way to deal with the situation.

  • ||

    Its a crisis because its not up to the executive branch to determine constitutionality. The last word on whether an order is constitutional or not belongs to the judiciary.

    Imagine the consequences otherwise.

    Just for starters, all those court cases upholding various rights of defendants would be effectively null and void.

    And if the executive is coequal, then I guess the legislature is, too. All those court cases overturning legislation? Null and void. The only way to get unconstitutional legislation off the books would be for the legislature to repeal it.

    Having the last word on constitutionality is what makes the judiciary a check and balance on the other two branches. The idea that the executive (and legislative) branches can follow, or not, court orders at their discretion makes court orders advisory-only. That makes the judiciary a subordinate branch.

  • ||

    I disagree that the courts are ipso facto the final arbiter of constitutional conduct. There have to be checks and balances on the courts, too. If the SCOTUS ordered the firing of all women working in jobs that were not traditionally female-dominated, I would under no circumstances think that the other branches of government would have to obey and enforce that order.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    Then you haven't read Marbury v. Madison lately. This has been settled law for over 200 years: the judiciary has the final word on what is, or is not, constitutional, not the executive.

  • ||

    Oh, I have read Marbury v. Madison, where SCOTUS said that they have ultimate authority, because they said so. And your argument is that this decision can't be challenged, because Marbury v. Madison forbids such challenges?

    Bootstrapping a bit?

  • ||

    Several presidents have ignored court orders since that decision, most famously Andrew Jackson in the Trail of Tears case.

  • Zeb||

    And that is among the worst things any president has ever done.

  • ||

    I agree, but that doesn't mean it would ALWAYS be a bad thing for the prez to ignore the Court. Just as school desegregation was a good, moral, and beneficial thing to do, but Brown v Board was one of the worst SCOTUS decisions in history, if only for the fact that it opened the floodgates of liberal judicial activism in the subsequent decades, which led to numerous SCOTUS decisions that were not only bad law but bad ideas for other reasons.

  • ||

    At least at the federal level, they are coequal in that the executive branch can refuse to obey an unconstitutional order from the judicial branch. The response, if the other branches believe the judicial order was constitutional, is impeachment by the legislative branch. The crisis would occur if the executive refused to recognize the impeachment.

    If the judicial branch had final word with no ability for the other branches to limit them, then the judiciary would be superior to the others, and the legislature and executive would be inferior. Thank God we don't live in a place like that.
    Radley is of course correct; the proper course should have been to hold the officer in contempt to begin with.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    Judges can be impeached, too. That's the proper course of action is a judge is issuing unconstitutional orders, not to just ignore them and hope they go away.

  • Tonio||

    Since impeachment takes a long time, the proper remedy is to appeal the order to either the chief judge of the court, or a court of superior jurisdiction, either of whom can nullify the original order. MD:IANAL

  • ||

    lots of things take a long time, particularly where the government is involved... that doesn't mean that we should all take it upon ourselves to effectuate the end result of the machinations of government.

  • robc||

    States can also determine constitutionality, see the Ky and Va resolutions.

    whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force

  • ||

    Its a crisis because its not up to the executive branch to determine constitutionality. The last word on whether an order is constitutional or not belongs to the judiciary.

    Says who? According to Marbury versus Madison?

    If SCOTUS, in a 5-4 decision, says it's all right for the police to confiscate every gun in the country, should that be the "last word" on the matter?

    The judiciary should act as a check on excesses by the executive and legislative branch, but similarly those branches should each act as a check on the other two branches. If any branch violates the constitution, the other two branches should call them on it.

    Otherwise you've given the favored "ultimate" branch the power to trammel roughshod over the constitution.

  • hamilton||

    That's a little disingenuous. The SCOTUS can't actually "say" that; they can just adjudicate a case in which they say that law enforcement acted constitutionally in doing so (taking away guns). The legislature can of course pass a law to effectively override the decision, or to amend the constitution, or to impeach the justices. "Legislating from the bench" does not, technically, happen so as to create the example you describe.

  • ||

    Someone's never heard of the Supreme Court's ordering state governments to bus students to different school districts to promote racial integration. Or the Massachussetts court ordering the legislature to pass a gay marriage law.

  • ||

    It's a crisis because the different branches are disagreeing about what is constitutional, and each is attempting to enforce their own opinion on the others.

    To my mind, Sheriff Joe is biting off way more than he can chew. If the president (or even a state's governor) wants to set off a constitutional crisis with a coequal branch, that's a ballsy maneuver. But a county sheriff? His office, just like every local office, is a creature of the state government. He may be a big fish in county politics, but he's about to get dumped out of the ziploc bag into the aquarium.

  • ||

    The Maricopa County Sheriff is an elected position, it is a Constitutional office, the occupant is not governed by, and owes little to any higher authority and is hardly a 'creature' of state government.

    Local sheriffs are one of the last bastions of local control, we would do well to remember this. (None of which makes Joe specifically correct in this instance though...)

    If the court wants its ruling enforced and the local authority declines to enforce it then the court can seek enforcement from a higher law enforcement body, ie. Arizona DPS or a Federal body.

  • ||

    Maricopa County itself is a creature of the state government, which can be reorganized or dissolved by the will of the state government. I seriously doubt that the Arizona constitution has a section on the particular office of the "Maricopa County Sheriff".

  • ||

    The only way Arizona can dissolve and reorganize the counties is by altering the State Constitution. Which is not an activity the state government can solely undertake. It would require the cooperation of the people of Arizona.

    And regardless of the seriousness of your doubts the office of County Sheriff is expressly included the AZ Constitution.

    See article 12, sections one and three.

    Each named county (that would include Maricopa) is a body politic and the Sheriff is an elected constitutional officer. Unlike the vast majority of State officials, who may think they govern him, yet ultimately do not.

  • kinnath||

    Judges have frequently imposed sentences (such as standing on a sideway with a painted sign saying the convict admits to doing something bad) as alternatives to the traditional sentence.

    While the alternative can't stand a constitutional challenge, the convict always has the option to decline and serve the traditional sentence. So the judge gets away with it.

    In this specific case, the deputy merely declined the judeges gracious offer of an alternative sentence.

    There won't be a crisis until the judge imposes the traditional sentence and the sheriff refuses to comply -- in this case, the sheriff would clearly be refusing to execute a legal and constitutional order.

  • ||

    The executive branch is coequal with the judicial. They are not required to obey unconstitutional orders from a judge.

    How is that a crisis?

    When two coequal branches disagree about whether an order is Constitutional or not, that's the very definition of a constitutional crisis.

    See Honduras.

  • ||

    i'll leave it to others so inclined to be serious about the story....

    but

    well Hello there Deputy Stoddard

  • ||

    Me caveman. Do not understand.

  • ||

    Me caveman. Do not understand.

  • ||

    I guess you hate cavemen. Thanks a lot.

  • Dan||

    Nice. So now you have a right to a defense, but the authorities will dictate what evidence, documents, and files you can use.

    I love how this Stoddard kid was told to state that he nabbed the documents "for security reasons."

    What a bunch of clowns. Privatize the law and be done with it.

  • ||

    That point got me.

    How is examining documents part of "providing security"????

    I would think that some of those documents need to be private, and not examined by ANYONE unless so decided by counsel or the like.

    And he also MADE COPIES of them!!! Again, how is making copies of documents necessary for "security reasons"????

    That part is just really fishy.

    His job for providing security is the same as any bailiff: make sure things don't get out of control, make sure the right people are where they should, etc. NOT checking out documents being brought in.

  • ||

    The blue wall will keep out the judge.

  • ||

    I live here in Phoenix and it's amazing how little the local news is covering this. I'm not sure I've heard it mentioned yet, but then I don't exactly watch the local news religiously.

    But I thought I might have heard something by now.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I love how this Stoddard kid was told to state that he nabbed the documents "for security reasons."

    Yeah. I saw that thinking "WTF is this jackass talking about?"

  • This Stoddard Kid||

    I misspoke.

    I nabbed the documents for the children.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Oh, OK. WTF is this judge's problem with you, then?

  • ||

    The parallels of this and the Honduras situation are rich with lulz.

    In any sane system, the minute he stole the documents he would have been fired without his pension and his benefits immediately stopped. Instead, the district attorney is helping suborn the legal process.

    Send in the national guard.

  • robc||

    In any sane system, the minute he stole the documents he would have been fired without his pension and his benefits immediately stopped. the bailiff would have drawn his weapon and arrested him.

    FTFY

  • ||

    the bailiff would have drawn his weapon and arrested him.

    I think he was acting as the bailiff.

  • ||

    Once again: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let there be a showdown between Arpaio's goons and the feds/state police/another county sheriff.

  • Geotpf||

    Break out the popcorn! That would be more entertaining than anything else on television.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    It's perfect timing, too. V just went into hiatus and Lost's final season doesn't start for a whole month. I need some entertainment, damn it!

  • atrevete||

    I can't believe I'm rooting for the feds on this.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Some clever video editing and the judge can make it look like Stoddard held the press conference to, indeed, apologize. I rest my case.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It would be great if Maricopa county judges started dismissing cases (or giving time served/ court costs to) of consensual "crimes", parking tickets, traffic tickets as payback.

  • Spartacus||

    That would be a difficult to do since it is so public. Approving/denying requests for warrants, on the other hand...

  • kiyo||

    Anybody have an outside link to this video? I can't get it to work for some reason.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Using Safari?

    I had to switch to FF to make it work. I hate sites that use MS-centric crap.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Oh, and I should add that you should consider yourself lucky that you didn't see it.

    It is sitting on bench, spanking your nuts with a wooden spoon painful.

  • kiyo||

    Safari and MS-centric crap indeed. Thanks much.
    And, I wouldn't know about having my nuts spanked, wooden spoon or otherwise, seeing as how I'm a woman. :)

  • Pope Jimbo||

    You sure are missing out.

    Sorry, but I don't have any analogues at this time. You are just going to have to come up with your own.

  • ||

    I imagine that the judge should be able to hold the officer in contempt for the underlying action and avoid the issue of whether the order to apologize was kosher.

  • ||

    Agree. Not defending the underlying offense here, just saying the order to hold a press conference and apologize may not have been an appropriate remedy.

    Dunno what the actual law says about all this press conference stuff.

  • ||

    Alternative punishment usually has consent of the punished. You don't have to wear the sign that says you're a drunk drive, you do it to avoid the harsher punishment.

    The is no Constitutional crisis here. The officer can not be forced to take the alternate punishment. He as stood firm and basically called the judges bluff to jail him. The judge probably won't. Keep in mind, this deputy looked at the file in plain view of the judge and the judge did not think it was important enough to interrupt the defense attorney.

  • ||

    Case study in self-delusion.
    The "security" issue doesn't
    pass the smell test unless there's
    some pattern of clients ordering hits
    on cops or judges via their attorneys or something.
    I call BS.

  • ¢||

    unless there's some pattern of clients ordering hits on cops or judges via their attorneys

    I saw that on TV twice. Pattern.

  • ||

    This whole thing pisses me off so much I could puke nails. What a lying sack of shit that punk ass deputy is. "I will not lie." So then he comes out and lies his fucking ass off with a bullshit story about "doing his job" and protecting the security of the court. But that mean ol' judge doesn't understand I was just making sure she was safe! I was only doing what was best for her safety and security! [/whine]

    Hey hey, ho ho, Sheriff Joe has got to go.

  • ||

    I can see why that little pussy wouldn't want to end up on the "wrong" side of the bars.

    It's amazing what a gun and a badge will do for some people.

  • ||

    As I said over at Agitator, the judge has already held him in contempt. Stoddard had the choice of avoiding punishment for being in contempt by apologizing before today. He chose to not apologize, therefore the punishment (imprisonment) goes ahead as scheduled.

    Or not. We'll see if the judge has any balls.

  • ||

    That's right.  Judge Donahoe was trying to be a nice guy, and you know what happens to them.

    Should just have put the little shit in jail for a couple days to begin with.

  • Enyap||

    Arpaio should really have waited until Stoddard got through puberty, before appointing him as a deputy.

  • bob||

    I'd just like to remind everyone that there is no truth at all to the rumor that Megalo-Joe is an overcompensating closeted homosexual.

    None whatsoever.

  • ||

    The judge himself is contemptuous. His job is not to have the deputy "apologize," but to throw his ass in jail for --oh gee--theft, violation of con law right of due process, interference with the D's 6th amendment rights, conspiracy to deny con law rights, --I mean if the deputy clubbed an unresisting cuffed suspect would he get off scott free by saying "I'm sorry."? No wonder the sherrif is sneering at the judge; the judiciary in that place has no balls. And evidently no idea that it's job is to uphold the law, not pretend something didn't happen when we can see it did.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Man, but you gotta read upthread. The deputy did it for The Children™.

  • Reformed Republican||

    -I mean if the deputy clubbed an unresisting cuffed suspect would he get off scott free by saying "I'm sorry."?

    Only if it was caught on tape. Otherwise it would just be covered up.

  • Mad Max||

    Not every judicial order has to be obeyed - the court has to have jurisdiction. In this case, it seems fairly clear the court had jurisdiction - if a court doesn't have jurisdiction over what happens in its own courtroom, then where *does* it have jurisdiction?

    Once jurisdiction is established, then whether the decision was right or wrong is not relevant.

    There could be examples where a court *doesn't* have jurisdiction - like a court ordering a tax increase (reserved for the legislature under separation of powers) or hearing a case from France where none of the parties has a connection to Arizona, and so on.

    But there's no problem here - a court has jurisdiction over its own courtroom.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Well said, Mad Max. And I never thought the Road Warrior would be the voice of reason.

  • ||

    So if SCOTUS issues a court order banning the discussion of abortion in blog comment sections, you would believe the executive had the duty to drag you off to jail after you violate the order (and you know you would!)?

  • Joette||

    That's not even a vaguely analogous situation. The court has ruled on something that happened in its own courtroom, not something that happened in blog comment sections. If you're trying to make a freedom of speech point (and if you are I'd happen to agree with you), the proper course of action for the county attorney would have been to appeal -- as he threatened to do, and request an injunction from the higher court until that appeal could be heard.

  • ||

    Reason's servers are located well within the SCOTUS' jurisdiction, so it's as analogous as it needs to be. Mad Max is claiming that a court order must be followed unless there are jurisdiction questions.

  • Joette||

    And when I say that I would probably agree with a freedom of speech point, I mean that it's ridiculous for the judge to order an apology and the deputy should have been jailed if found in contempt.

  • Phelps||

    Yup. And we would have a duty as citizens to clear out the SCOTUS. That's what the second amendment is there for, and why your scenario would never happen.

  • Zeb||

    The executive would have that duty under the constitution. They would also have a conflicting duty to uphold the constitution. Constitutional crisis.

  • Bill||

    what I don't get is why the judge didn't immediately call for a mistrial (and arguably any subsequent trial would be invalid) on seeing that defense documents were seized w/o any procedure and also arresting the deputy and tossing him into the hooscow, screw the appology, he's already in contempt as per Michael Chaney's info.

    Asking for an apology for the boy deputy is ridiculous. You can't apologize for something like that when it's so freakin bloody obvious that what he did was wrong on the face of it.

  • ||

    This whole charade is due to the judge being afraid to piss off Arpaio, due to the fact that

    (1) Arpaio's department provides security for his courtroom;

    (2) Arpaio is known for using aggressive, violent, unconstitutional tactics against those who get on his bad side;

    (3) Arpaio has always gotten away with (2) in the past.

  • Geotpf||

    Exactly. The Judge was in a very difficult place. He knew he would be fucked if he pissed off Arpaio, but the conduct of the deputy was so untolerable he needed to do something. He should have just manned up and order the deputy in contempt and let the shitstorm fly right away, but he tried to wiggle out. Of course, Sheriff Dumbass ain't letting him.

  • Tman||

    Can someone please explain to me why a freaking piece of paper is a potential "security threat"?

    Does it have really sharp edges or something?

  • ||

    The lawyer could make a paper airplane and PUT SOMEONE'S EYE OUT!

  • Abdul||

    Apparently, it had a written threat of some type on it (offier's story).

    As I recall, we don't know for sure because the piece of paper is protected by the attorney client privilege, and the defense attorney and her client won't waive it.

  • Tman||

    I still don't see how a "written threat on a piece of paper" poses any security problems for this particular courtroom.

    Unless it was written in like devil-font or something. Maybe just reading it makes your eyes bleed or something.

  • ||

    I wonder if the judge now wishes he had halted whatever else was happening in court at the time, and said, in a booming stentorian voice, "Excuse me, sonny; what the fuck are you doing?"

  • ||

    The judge was a she, but yeah, that would have been cool.

    I wish she had done that, and then stood up and started beatboxing. That would have been awesome.

  • Joette||

    Unfortunately, the judge hearing the case is not the same judge in whose courtroom the offense took place.

  • Phelps||

    In Texas courts, that happens all the time. Gavels are for show, here, because our judges have lungs.

  • ||

    The more appropriate statement would've been, "Bailiff, unholster your firearm."

  • Brad||

    So the defense had the un-redacted home address of the victim/witness on one of his documents, and the Deputy working court security took it? Not sure I am understanding what exactly took place here.

  • Mad Max||

    'So if SCOTUS issues a court order banning the discussion of abortion in blog comment sections, you would believe the executive had the duty to drag you off to jail after you violate the order (and you know you would!)?'

    I suppose if the Maricopa County court said that I couldn't blog while in their courtroom, they would have jurisdiction just like I described.

    If they ordered me not to blog, then I wonder how they would establish jurisdiction? I'm not in Arizona, and so far as I know none of my assets are there, either.

    I've explained that a court needs to have jurisdiction before it can go around issuing orders. I've explained that an Arizona court has jurisdiction over what happened in its own courtroom.

    I'm not sure what this has to do with blogging about abortion - I suppose your arguments are simply a variant of "you suck."

  • ||

    Do you know what SCOTUS stands for? Hint: it doesn't stand for Maricopa County Court.

  • ||

    And if your claim is that the jurisdiction of the court is only in the courtroom, then so long as this officer does not enter the courtroom, they can't order him to apologize and can't order Arpaio to arrest him.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't really see a mechanism whereby the SCOTUS could do this [other than by failing to overturn a law passed by the legislature and signed by the President creating such a ban, in which case the legislature and President are guilty, too], but if they came up with a way to do it, if I didn't like it my best available option would be violent insurrection and the destruction of the current Constitutional order. If the President didn't like the SCOTUS order or individual legislators didn't like it, they would have the same option.

    That was pretty much my point in my original post in this thread: that what Arpaio was doing was essentially insurrection. He hasn't done so in an armed fashion yet, that's all.

  • ||

    if I didn't like it my best available option would be violent insurrection and the destruction of the current Constitutional order.

    That is NEVER the best option. Repeat. That is NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, the best option. It is the final failsafe when all hell has broken loose. 99% of the time violent insurrection is immediately followed by the rise of tyranny (whether the insurrection is successful or not).

    I would happily take a little bit of ambiguity where the various branches step on each other's toes rather than rolling the dice at the craps table of coup d'etat.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    That cop looks like someone who was picked on in school. He has a punchable face.

  • Mad Max||

    Incidentally, in my writings and my Libertarian Party activism I have advocated jury trial for certain contempt cases - for the precise purpose of limiting courts' contempt power by providing the check of an impartial jury between the defendant and the wrath of the judge.

    The thing is, it's hard to pen a persuasive rebuttal to "I don't like you, you suck!"

  • ||

    I like to imagine a parallel universe in which the deputy was caught red-handed by the defense attorney - and then imagine the alternatives from there: a beat down with a flashlight / a lawyer with hair-trigger reflexes and a black belt...

    You know, let the imagination wander. And the best fantasy of all is to imagine someone gives a crap. Living in the shadow of Spooky Joe and his PressedShirts sends chills up my spine everytime I see MCSO on something official. What can't he do?

  • this made my day||

    It kind of reminds me of the days when wrestling used to be good.

  • atrevete||

    I really think Sheriff Joe should be the one in jail, eating those green baloney sandwiches, but no, he gets to send in a stooge. Who really thinks Stoddard did anything but act on Arpaio's orders? What a coward!

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Why doesn't someone ask this shitheel how many documents on the prosecution's table he has gone through?

    Seriously, I have seen professional wrestlers give out more coherent excuses for their misbehavior than this jackass.

    Xst! This would have been bad enough if it was just a he-said she-said type of deal, but the video makes it excruciatingly bad.

    This clip makes it a bit better via editing because you don't see the jerk home in on the docs from 10 feet away. If this video was all you had ever seen it is almost possible to believe that he was just walking by when he saw "JIHAD on the Children!" written on the lawyer's stack of stuff (also she had been writing Mrs. Osama Bin Laden over and over again on her folder) and was forced to leap into action to protect the children.

  • ||

    Hey, leave the kid alone. He just wants to go down to Toshi Station to pick up some power converters.

  • ed||

    Dep. Stoddard read his script.
    And Jesus wept.

  • Mad Max||

    'Mad Max is claiming that a court order must be followed unless there are jurisdiction questions.'

    Well, some would say that a court order has to conform to Natural Law.

    That's why Paul Blanshard wanted to prevent Catholic judges from hearing cases under the compulsory sterilization laws - with their picky whining about Natural Law and bodily integrity, those pesky Catholic judges might not want to order a citizen's tubes tied, even if the preservation of Race Hygiene required it!

    Such lawless attitudes are not permissible. ؟

  • ||

    Look, over there! A Know-Nothing!

  • ||

    I say this little fucker should be pilloried so the local practitioners of the bar can throw rotten tomatoes at him.

  • ||

    And Tulpa, you're completely screwing up the notion of "jurisdiction", of which there are several types.

    Here, it is not really so much a question of where the court has jurisdiction, but rather which type of jurisdiction - or, more correctly, power - the court is exercising. Here, the court is exercising its contempt power. The court has jurisdiction over Deputy Dawg there because he was in the court during session and engaged in contemptuous conduct. The court has inherent power to punish him for that conduct.

    And all the back and forth up above about constitutionality and whether the branches of government are co-equal mostly misses the mark and point here. The judge's order was not unconstitutional and did not purport to interpret or apply the constitution. It is a rather unremarkeable and run-of-the-mill punishment for contempt of court. Say you're sorry for being a contemptuous little prick, or go to jail and cool your heels for a while.

    All the nonsense about blogging about abortion, etc. is completely non-sequitur and way off point.

  • ||

    Don't get me wrong, I think Arpaio et al are completely in the wrong here. But Fluffy, Mad Max, and others are arguing a much larger and more insidious point -- the idea of absolute judicial supremacy. Many "contempt of court" citations are for actions that do not take place in a courtroom -- they involve the violation of court orders regarding behavior in the geographical jurisdiction of the court. And in theory, they can encompass virtually any behavior.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Someone should've yelled "You lie!" in the middle of Stoddard's press conference.

  • ||

    Only if one were not a resident of Maricopa Co. Or maybe if one was some kind of martyr.

  • Mad Max||

    If I understand him correctly, Tulpa believes I'm so deeply wrong about abortion, I must be wrong about everything else, too.

  • ||

    You don't understand me correctly. I don't think you're wrong about abortion at all, just am annoyed by how you give pro-life people a bad name by relating whatever issue is at hand to abortion.

    ANd in this particular case, I just think you're wrong about judicial supremacy and are not seeing the negative outcomes such a doctrine could lead to.

  • Mad Max||

    'Reason's servers are located well within the SCOTUS' jurisdiction'

    I didn't say jurisdiction was only geographic. In fact, I gave a specifically non-geographic example: tax increases.

    The Supreme Court itself has held that courts don't have jurisdiction to enforce unconstitutional statutes.

  • Mad Max||

    At least for habeas corpus purposes, where the prisoner can only challenge his conviction if the court's jurisdiction was impaired in some way. (For instance, exclusionary rule violations aren't jurisdictional and hence can't be dealt with on habeas corpus).

  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio||

    Justice Donahoe has made his decision. He can now enforce it.

  • ||

    I am interested and will follow this to its conclusion because there is manipulation in the presentation.

    I saw the original video and the deputy did not see a document or anything else about security. He was at least ten to 15 feet away, accross the courtroom and walked over to read behind the attorney's back.

    In addition, the attached video has been edited. In the original he began reading one document, then opened the folder and took one from among others further down in the stack, one that was covered up. That was the one he gave out to be copied...

    Will anyone be found to "have standing" for this to be heard..? Will the Attorney/Client privilige survive this case..? Stay tuned while we ride the Slippery Slope..!

  • Mad Max||

    'And if your claim is that the jurisdiction of the court is only in the courtroom, then so long as this officer does not enter the courtroom, they can't order him to apologize and can't order Arpaio to arrest him.'

    You are mistaken.

  • Mad Max||

    I didn't say *only* in the courtroom.

  • ||

    After viewing it again, the deputy was further that 15 feet away and could not have read anything as he is seen pulling out the paper he read from the folder in order to read it...

    Here is the link to the uncut original video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIoyJ-LyAaE

  • OathKeeper||

    First, Judge can't just jail deputy for "contempt" based on taking the paper - contempt is a charge that MUST be absolvable. Put another way, the person jailed for contempt must have a way to purge themselves of said contempt.

    Proper action? Mistrial/dismiss with prejudice, order the deputy held for trial on charges of violating defendant's constitutional rights - specifically violating his privacy/atty-client privilege without due process.

    *IF* he saw something that he thought was a threat, he should have brought it to The Court's attention and sought permission to investigate.

    This whole thing STINKS - it was a horrendous violation. He won't apologize because that would be equivalent to a confession, and thus a violation of the DEPUTY'S right against self incrimination.

    All parties (except perhaps cuccia) are making a fiasco of this - I'm guessing on purpose. They're hiding from their malfeasance in the midst of a public circus...

  • Brendan Perez||

    "Put another way, the person jailed for contempt must have a way to purge themselves of said contempt."

    Are you sure? If I get up and yell "Fuck, Fuckity, Fuck, Fuck Fuck!!!!", the judge will most likely jail me for contempt. I can't undo what I said.

  • ||

    The deputies only defense is a Nuremberg option, which gets him nowhere.

    Beyond that it is also an argument his bosses will not allow him to make - since it concedes that they have either poorly or improperly trained him.

    This reflects not just upon Sheriff Joe, but also on the Courts themselves. That is why they tried to make this go away with the extra-judicial apology.

    Which also explains the lack of apology, the DO's attorney thought this was one big game of chicken. OOPS.

  • ||

    The judge needs to deputize some local yahoos to bring the (former) deputy in "dead or alive".

  • ||

    Judge Donahoe needs to deputize some locals to bring the law-breaking LEO in "dead or alive"

  • ||

    The courts' direct power ultimately is very small. They can send bailiffs to drag you to jail, but that is about it. The vast majority of the courts' power comes from the respect it has from the other branches. The executive in particular can and does ignore the court when he feels he can. Because the courts command a lot of respect the executive doesn't do it often.
    Chief Justice Renquist spoke about this actually.

  • submandave||

    I have never been a fan of the forced appology anyway. As I understand it, an appology is an acceptance of fault and expression of regret for damages done. In other words, it si a public expression of an emotional state. It makes no more sense to me for a court to force an appology than it does for them to force the Deputy to say he is a Martian.

    Either find him in contempt or don't. If I were the wronged counsel his forced appology, even if given, would be worth nothing.

  • dennis||

    If this heats up, what are the odds that Arpaio and his goons set the judge up to be murdered in a "mugging" or while "interrupting a burglary at her home?" I wouldn't be surprised if Arpaio and co. have had people flat out murdered in the past, he just seems like the type.

  • ||

    Looks like Arpaio has chickened out of having a showdown with the judiciary.

    http://www.abc15.com/content/n.....h0a-g.cspx

  • ||

    That is shocking.

  • ||

    The deputy had to apologize (verbal and written) to the attorney or face jail for contempt of court. Ok, I can say I don't have a problem with that. However what I found problematic is that the attorney had to say she was satisfied with the apology or he would be considered to have not apologized and jailed subject probably to a later hearing. I think that it is up to the judge to decide whether the "apology" was sufficient to satisfy. It is entirely possible that neither the deputy nor the attorney would come away 'satisfied' with the outcome.

    In addition, the judge could have summoned the deputy to the courthouse and require him before the press to apologize as an alternative to jail and if the attorney didn't bother to show up (after being notified of the action) that would not negate his apology unless the judge thought it was insufficient.

  • Mad Max||

    'Fluffy, Mad Max, and others are arguing a much larger and more insidious point -- the idea of absolute judicial supremacy. . . .

    'I just think you're wrong about judicial supremacy and are not seeing the negative outcomes such a doctrine could lead to.'

    When did I endorse judicial supremacy? I said the opposite.

    'I don't think you're wrong about abortion at all, just am annoyed by how you give pro-life people a bad name by relating whatever issue is at hand to abortion.'

    Lately, people like yourself have been replying to my non-abortion comments by saying how I like to inject abortion everywhere.

    I commented on the powers of courts - and the limitations on those powers - you mentioned abortion, and you explained that you're objecting to my dragging abortion into everything.

  • ||

    I retrieved that document in plain sight and had court personnel copy it to preserve it as evidence in case it was a security breach.

    Hold the motherfucking phone here, how the motherfucking fuck can a motherfucking document be a motherfucking security breach???

  • Michael Kielsky||

    Love the "Marikafka County" moniker! I work in the court system and legal community here in Maricopa County every day, and some of this sort of stuff goes on enough here that I sometimes forget how bizarro it must seem to the rest of the country.

    I still giggle everytime I say "Marikafka" out loud. :-)

  • ||

    My totally relevant and politically astute comment?

    He's cute!

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