Friday, February 10, 2012

Mississippi: Ledger on Barbour, Court Hearing

Mississippi's Clarion Ledger has expressed its own opinion of Haley Barbour's 11th-hour pardons. According to the Ledger, Barbour's actions were "clearly" a "mistake." And,
At best, it represented poor judgment; at worst, it was an arrogant, irresponsible use of power.
The Ledger notes that there was no "serious vetting of the cases" and there was "disregard of the victims' families." In addition, there was "disregard of the constitutional provisions for public notice." The Ledger also believes there were some "bad decisions" in the batch (such as the pardon of a man "who killed his wife while she held a baby and a Jackson socialite who was responsible for the deaths of two young doctors in an alcohol-related crash").

Most interestingly, the Ledger expresses its view of yesterday's court hearing and concludes:
From the court hearing, it appears case law supports the high court not interfering with authority of other branches of government. There are difficult legal issues, and during the oral arguments justices probed with thoughtful and insightful questions. Despite the offensiveness of Barbour's actions, to undermine the executive authority would be more offensive. The people of Mississippi might disagree with Barbour, and it is safe to say most do, but the constitution gave him that clear authority.
And the Ledger thinks it just might be "important" for Mississippians to "look past the bad decisions of one governor to the need for power of a governor." And the Supreme Court "should not undermine that authority." With this, we generally agree. See full editorial here.

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