Sunday, August 3, 2008

The President: Time to Limit the Pardon Power?

Ben Burrows at the Philadelphia Jewish Voice is making his contribution to the concern over preemptive pardons by suggesting a constitutional amendment. Says Burrows:

... Those of us concerned with the misuse of this power for self-protective indulgences have few options. If, however, we have a two-thirds Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, there are some strategies which might apply between January 3, when Congress begins its session, and January 20, when George W. Bush leaves office:

Congress could pass a constitutional amendment,

* limiting the President’s pardon power, to prevent “indulgence” pardons ahead of an actual conviction

* providing for Congress to nullify a pardon or clemency on grounds of corruption, with a 2/3 majority in both houses

* declaring that pardoning appointees or cabinet members of the sitting president, or of an administration in which the president had previously served, are inherently corrupt, and need not be overridden by Congress to be declared invalid in court.

See complete editorial here.

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