Clemency As the Soul of the Constitution

33 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2019

See all articles by Mark William Osler

Mark William Osler

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: 2019


Individualism is a defining characteristic of the United States, and the Pardon Power draws from that value. Presidents can and should use clemency in accordance with their individual values, as the framers of the Constitution intended. This article draws from new data to define historical precedents, and argues that the institution of federal executive clemency should remain unfettered by courts or the legislature.

Keywords: president, presidential power, clemency, pardon power, constitutional law, U.S. Constitution

Suggested Citation

Osler, Mark William, Clemency As the Soul of the Constitution (2019). 34 Journal of Law and Politics 131 (2019), U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-12, Available at SSRN:

Mark William Osler (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States
(254) 717-7032 (Phone)

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