Ho Ho Ho. Nobody gets between Sheriff Joe and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” Nobody. He’s got your Christmas spirit whether you like it or not.
And it would seem that at least some of them don’t. Six times prison inmates have sued Sheriff Joe Arpaio for playing Christmas carols come holiday season. So far, Sheriff Joe has 6 Wins and Zero losses. That kind of record gets you into the Hall of Fame.
Sheriff Joe will just keep playing those Carols. He’s like Quasimodo ringing the bells but not as good looking. And Quasi wasn’t as strict about illegal immigration. (In fact, he kinda’ liked the gypsy folk that snuck into town all illegal like.) But other than that they’re very similar.
The Washington Times reports:
The self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” in America, Phoenix’s Joe Arpaio, who has survived six separate inmate lawsuits trying to stop him from playing Christmas music, will begin playing the tunes again this year – starting Monday with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,””Frosty the Snowman” and “Feliz Navidad.”
The 8,000 inmates also will hear, among others, “A Christmas Kwanzaa Solstice,” “Over the Skies of Israel,” “Ramadan,” “Llego a La Ciudad,” “Let it Snow” and “Rodolpho El Reno de la Nariz Rojita.”
“Maybe the holiday music can help lift the spirits of the men and women who are away from friends and family during the holidays, not just the inmates, but the dedicated men and women who work in the Maricopa County Jails,” the sheriff said in an announcement Sunday.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, to which Sheriff Arpaio was first elected in 1992 after a 25-year career at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has played the holiday songs all day, every day, during previous seasons. The latest inmate lawsuit was dismissed in federal court in December 2009.
Sheriff Arpaio has long expressed his fondness for Christmas music, especially “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and anything by Alvin and the Chipmunks, so it was with some glee last year that he announced in a red-and-green press release that the lawsuit had been dismissed and the music would begin.
“We keep winning these lawsuits. Inmates should stop acting like the Grinch who stole Christmas and give up wasting the court’s time with such frivolous assertions,” the press release read.
Inmates have sued six times claiming that being forced to listen to the Christmas songs 12 hours a day was in violation of their civil and religious rights and a cruel and unusual punishment, but U.S. District Judge Roz Silver disagreed, dismissing the case and denying claims for $250,000 in damages.
The court issued a summary judgment saying it found no evidence of fact, so Sheriff Arpaio was entitled to the judgment as a matter of law.
In upholding the decision, the court said the sheriff was free to “inject the holiday spirit into the lives of those incarcerated over the holiday season in the third-largest jail system in the U.S.”
How awesome is that?
I’m not sure that Alvin and the Chipmunks pushing a little holiday cheer amounts to “cruel and unusual” punishment. And I know what I’m talking about. My kids begged me to see the Squeakquel of Alvin and the Chipmunks in the movies last year. I think a piece of me died that day. And not a little piece. I that sometime during the Chipette’s version of “All the Single Ladies” something broke inside me. Something that medicine can’t fix. Something that I think I needed. But hey, I still didn’t sue for them to stop showing the movie, did I?
Toughen up inmates. It ain’t this: