Magazine January 25, 2021, Issue

Repeal the Pardon Power

Scipio Granting Clemency to the Prisoners, by Battista Franco, after Giulio Romano (Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images)
It’s too politicized, and there are better remedies for occasional injustices

’Tis the season.

No, not the Yuletide; that joyous annual season is behind us. It is instead the season of the eleventh-hour pardon, when a soon-to-depart president, freed of concerns about the political implications, makes copious use of the chief executive’s most boundless, corruptible, and, in modern times, unnecessary power. The Constitution should be amended to end it.

The authority described by Hamilton as “the benign prerogative” in Fed­eralist No. 74 is inscribed in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. It endows the president with “Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of …

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

Republicans put up two weak candidates in a competitive state, and then discouraged their voters from showing up.

The Great Reset

Lunatic paranoids think it means a lizard in the shape of Bill Gates is going to microchip everyone with a vaccine so we can be tracked.
The Long View


Senator, please review this and note changes, thanks — fundraising letter needs to drop tomorrow PM!!!!