Congressional Control of Presidential Pardons
6 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2017 Last revised: 8 Sep 2017
Date Written: August 25, 2017
Though the president’s pardon power is plenary, many questions remain. To what extent may Congress, via legislation, regulate the president’s pardon power? Though it is well established that the power is plenary, does that insulate the pardon power from any Congressional regulation at all? And if the answer to this is “no” – and it is – then what sort of Congressional regulation is permissible? I address those issues in this short Essay, while offering some suggestions for regulating, or at least regularizing, the pardon power in ways that I believe are within Congress’s power.
Keywords: pardon, plenary, criminal law, executive, commutation, necessary and proper, congress, congressional power
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