Monday, November 1, 2010

New York: The Governor's Panel

At the blog of the American Constitution Society, Margaret Colgate Love has written a piece on Governor Paterson's creation of a special clemency panel in order to consider the plight of immigrants facing deportation. Love states that, "for as long as criminal conviction has been a basis for deporting a lawful resident alien, pardon - including pardon by state governors - has been a formally recognized way of avoiding this penalty." On the other hand, "pardoning has become an activity that most chief executives avoid out of fear that forgiving the wrong person may prove politically costly."

But Love sees Paterson's panel, and his "evident care" in decision making, as both "extraordinary" and "welcomed" - as well as being "within the dispensing authority federal immigration law itself gives to governors." Thus, he is "to be commended, not criticized" for deciding to using his power "in such a transparent and democratic way." Love concludes:
We should all wish [Paterson] success in this endeavor, and hope that other governors and pardoning authorities -- including President Obama, who has yet to pardon anyone, much less a deportable immigrant -- will be encouraged by his example.
See Love's full post here.

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