PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks with a reporter outside city jail. The US Justice Department sued Arpaio, his office and the county over civil rights violations involving racial profiling.
After almost five years of litigation, seven days of trial and testimony from 25 witnesses, the Fronteras Project reports that the end of the class action discrimination suit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio seems to be within sight.
The attorneys will file two sets of closing briefs on Aug. 9 and Aug. 16. Then it will be up to U.S. District Judge Murray Snow to decide if sheriff's deputies had a practice of racially profiling Latinos. But this isn't the only suit challenging Arpaio's tactics.
UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin Johnson said the fact that this class action case will be decided first is likely to give the DOJ an advantage in their suit.
"The government has a roadmap of what the defense could be to the claims that they are engaging in a pattern and practice of racial profiling," Johnson said.
And if Snow rules in favor of the plaintiffs in this case, Johnson said that finding can be used by the federal government in its own lawsuit.
Snow said in court on Thursday that he could not say how long it would take him to issue a ruling.
Meanwhile, a portion of this case is already being appealed. Before the trial, the judge made a preliminary ruling that MCSO officers could not detain people based solely on the suspicion that they are undocumented immigrants.
Lawyers for the sheriff's office are appealing that decision, and it is scheduled to go before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco next month.