Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Senior Judicial Analyst?

Andrew Napolitano is a "Senior Judicial Analyst" for Fox News. One would expect profound insight coming from someone with that kind of title. Instead, we get the observation that George W. Bush "is not a big pardon guy." Wow, was it the well known record in Texas, or the last 8 years and a ton of commentary that prompted that insight?

More significantly Napolitano says Bush cannot issue a blanket pardon to everyone who may have engaged in extreme interrogation techniques. Why? Napolitano says, "You've got to name them. You can't pardon somebody without saying who it is." The source of this insight? Nothing. No case. No authority. No legal document or legislation (modern or ancient).

PardonPower tends to disagree with the Senior Judicial Analyst. The source of our disagreement? We know how to read. And we like to think we do it well before we express such extravagant opinions. Unlike Napolitano, we are familiar with an attempt at common law to insist that the King of England name pardon recipients. But we are not familiar with the notion that this has ever applied to presidents of the United States. Of course, amnesties (a form of the pardon power) do not list specific names of offenders. But we are also aware of situations historically where presidents have in fact pardoned "unnamed individuals" - indeed that is the exact language on the clemency warrant. Likewise, we are also aware of pardons that have been granted to single individuals who are not named in associated warrants. We therefore announce that we accept/claim the title "Mega Turbo Inter-Galactic Senior Legal Analyst Extraordinaire."

Napolitano also states that he does not expect to see a pardon for Scooter Libby. Well, maybe his opinion is more informed on that matter. See story here.

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