Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

No Reprieves or Pardons for Impeachment

                    The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article II, Section 2, Clause 2:  "The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment" in proceedings against a judge or an officer of the executive branch.

                    "This provision gives the Congress the RIGHT to permanently remove any person from office in the judiciary or the executive branch of the government if he or she has been charged by the House and found guilty in the Senate of `treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.'  Once that person is impeached and convicted, the President has no power to pardon the offense and restore the offender to his or her previous position."  (W. Cleon Skousen in The Making of America - The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, 546)

                    "The possibility of a President pardoning himself for a crime is not precluded by the explicit language of the Constitution, and during the summer of 1974, some of President Richard M. Nixon's lawyers argued that it was constitutionally permissible.  But a broader reading of the Constitution and the general principles of the traditions of the United States law might lead to the conclusion that a self-pardon is constitutionally impermissible.  It would seem to violate the principles that a man should not be a judge in his own case; that the rule of law is supreme and the United States is a nation of laws, not men; and that the President is not above the law."  (James Pfiffner in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, 204)

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