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Fri Jun 10, 2022, 12:13 PM

we need a constitutional amendment curtailing the presidential pardon

I highly doubt the framers of the constitution considered the possibility that someone might ask for a pre-emptive pardon, much less the possibility that we'd have such an appalling president who might actually consider issuing them.

Presidents should not be allowed to pardon members of their own families or their own administrations. Future presidents may be enabled to do this, but sitting presidents should be blocked from issuing pardons if there's any sort of conflict of interest.

That presidents shouldn't be allowed to pardon themselves should go without saying, but the fact that some Republicans were talking about it as if it might not only be possible, but a good idea, means we have to formalize it in the Constitution.

Presidents should also not be allowed to issue pardons if the crime would have benefitted the president's own administration or the president as an individual. Ford's pardon of Nixon was an abomination that gave the illusion of healing the nation while enabling future scandal-minded presidents to commit crimes with no accountability. It also benefitted Ford himself, as he was a member of the Nixon administration. Killing the process before it really got underway allowed Ford to minimize the the impact of Watergate during the 1976 election.

(In fact, I go back and forth in my head whether sitting presidents should even be allowed to pardon their immediate predecessor - or if they can, it should involve additional steps to make it harder. I have no problem with a president pardoning the person he or she replaced for a minor offense committed as a juvenile, but not something done to subvert democracy.)

Iran-Contra? The invasion of Iraq? Pretty much everything the hairy orange organism living on TFG's head tried to pull? All of which were, in my opinion, worse than Watergate? They might not have happened - or they'd have been much harder to pull off, anyway - if Nixon had been held accountable.

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Reply we need a constitutional amendment curtailing the presidential pardon (Original post)
cab67 Jun 2022 OP
CTyankee Jun 2022 #1
cab67 Jun 2022 #4
Ray Bruns Jun 2022 #2
cab67 Jun 2022 #3
roamer65 Jun 2022 #6
maxsolomon Jun 2022 #5
cab67 Jun 2022 #7
ruet Jun 2022 #8
Novara Jun 2022 #9
ThoughtCriminal Jun 2022 #10
Gore1FL Jun 2022 #11

Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 12:17 PM

1. This seems so obvious!

Perhaps a constitutional historian could answer the question. Why did the founders write that in the constitution in the first place? What was the historical imperative at the time for doing so?

Have you googled this? It might lead to some historical reference that answers this question.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 01:17 PM

4. It may have been pro forma

Governors have broad powers to pardon people, too. This may have been seen as something all heads of state should be able to do.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 12:25 PM

2. There needs to be an amendment stating removing the electoral college and instituting

the popular vote for all elections. The state legislatures should have no say in who won an election.

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Response to Ray Bruns (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 01:16 PM

3. we need several amendments -

ERA, no political gerrymandering, something to prevent long-term Federal and Supreme Court stacking, something to clarify the second amendment, and overturning Citizens United, among others.

I wasn't presenting an exhaustive list - merely mentioning one problem that's getting some attention (e.g. pre-emptive pardons).

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Response to Ray Bruns (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 01:20 PM

6. This is exactly why the republic is going to break apart.

The absolute inflexibility of a 200 plus year old compact between the states.

Regional desires for reform will eventually doom it.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 01:19 PM

5. We're not going to get it.

Our politics are too sclerotic.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 01:24 PM

7. agreed.

I was expressing what we need - not what we're going to get.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 01:24 PM

8. Never Gonna Happen.

...until Democrats use it like Republicans do. This, unfortunately, is the key. As distasteful as it is we must push the limits of government power just like Republicans do and tell the people why we're doing it.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 01:31 PM

9. IIRC, the founders debated limits on pardons ...

... but they were sure that no one could ever be this corrupt.

The only limits for pardons have to do with impeachments.

But then again, this extent of criminality and sedition has never been tested before. My hope is that he will be convicted for sedition at least. I think it's a slam dunk but what do I know?

It would seem that this applies (and not only to him):

Fourteenth Amendment Citizenship, Equal Protection, and Other Post-Civil War Provisions

Section 3 Disqualification and Public Debt

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.


https://constitution.congress.gov/browse/amendment-14/section-3/

Seems pretty obvious to me.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 03:15 PM

10. The way to play this

Convince the MAGA crowd that Biden is going to issue blanket pardons to every Democrat and family member. Nonsense, but they'll buy it because "Hunter Biden's Laptop".

Put on a red hat go to those MAGA townhalls and demand to know why their GOP Senators and Representatives are letting Biden pardon his "criminal" family and the Clintons with secret pocket pardons.




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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Fri Jun 10, 2022, 03:50 PM

11. We need to get rid of impeachment, too.

It failed when used legitimately. It's use now can only be political.

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