Skip to main content

ExctvBrnchFx

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

The people of this country might wish to consider House Resolution 1531, introduced by New York Representative, Jerrold Nadler.  This legislation is meant to prevent preemptive Presidential pardons, or at least try to restrain an a President whose power has gone unchecked.  

To understand the vital need for such a measure, we might only ponder the proclamation offered by the current President when his cohort, I. [Scooter] Lewis Libby was convicted.  The public was aware of the intent to commute the sentence; yet, they did as was customarily done.  Americans ignored many highly suspect practices within the Oval Office.  The word was it is not good to impeach a sitting President.  While the people posited apathy, Conservative Constitutional Lawyer Bruce Fein argued.  If investigations are delayed, and an objective to censure this Administration is obstructed, a terrible precedent would be set.  

Respondents proclaimed; once President Bush and Vice President Cheney are out of office, justice would be served.  The public would attend to the widespread abuse of power.  Now, it seems that possibility could be quashed.  The opportunities left to the man who still resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue may not allow for such an action.  

By law, George W. Bush could pardon himself and the principal staffers who served at his pleasure.  (It might be noted, the White House, perchance nervous, felt a need to state it is not "inclined" to grant extensive, defensive, clemencies to prominent public servants.  The Chief Executive's office claims there is no need for such an formal forgiveness.)

Nevertheless, as the presumption looms large, I believe the American people must stand up and attempt to reclaim the rights afforded them in the United States Constitution.  

Fellow citizens, I beseech you.  We have avoided the use of provisions our founders endowed us with.  It is time to embrace the document bequeathed to us, and do as our forefathers would have done in a similar situation.  

Please America remember; only the people can accept or end a cycle of high crimes and misdemeanors.  I invite you to tell your Congressman and woman of your concerns, sign the petition, and send a Letter to your local Editors.  Let us begin to be a government of, by, and for the people.  Please do what you can, speak out.  Silence only secures further exploitations as it has in the past, in the present, and likely will in the future.

References and Reasons for House Resolution 1531 . . .

Originally posted to Bcgntn; BeThink on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:18 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Will Bush Issue A Blanket Pardon? (7+ / 0-)

    It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson. Betsy L. Angert
    BeThink

    by Bcgntn on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:19:21 PM PST

  •  We could have a resolution right here... (8+ / 0-)

    on Dailykos that would have exactly the same force of law as Nadlers.

    Which is zilch.

    Sorry.

    •  arodb is right! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Something the Dog Said, arodb

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:21:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I vote: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb

      Aye!

      All that is required for evil to flourish is for good people to stand by and do nothing.

      by davewill on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:26:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, not exactly the same... (0+ / 0-)

      Constitutionality is a complicated game, involving the acquiescence of many actors. What has force of law depends on many factors of influence -- Daily Kos is very low, law professors are in the middle, Congress's sense is higher and at the top is SCOTUS.

      Remember FDR's strong-arming of SCOTUS in the thirties! The "constitutionality" of the minimum wage was forced in that case by the White House, and not SCOTUS --- they just surrendered to the former.

      •  Not quite... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justanothernyer

        A law of Congress signed by the President has force unless it is unconstitutional.

        A resolution is non binding and is nothing but a statement of opinion of a group of people.  In fact it is not even mentioned in article 1 of the constitution because it is meaningless.

        If a president cares about what this group thinks it will have some effect, just as if he cared about what Dailykos, or any other group thinks.

        And FDR only ovverrode congress when there were new members that he supported.  His opinion or actual congressional laws had no effect on the stump conservative court in outlawing min wage and other new deal policies.

        •  the human heart and mind have power (0+ / 0-)

          Dearest arodb  . . .

          The legacy lives large in Bush rhetoric and I believe in his mind.  I think the thought that he might further embarrass Barbara and George Herbert will have an affect.  If enough people talk, the President might consider . . . George W. Bush does read history books.  He thinks aloud of how he might be portrayed.

          It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson. Betsy L. Angert
          BeThink

          by Bcgntn on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 03:40:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite... (0+ / 0-)

          FDR pushed SCOTUS in the thirties to reverse itself by not doing anything, legally speaking. He simply threatened to pack the court --- to give them hell.

          A non-binding resolution is a political threat, that may have the effect of law if it's threatening enough --- it may change how others decide to interpret the law. You can give me all the legal theoretical bullshit you'd like --- but the law is what gets enforced, and that depends on how people use the law to mean something on the ground.

          The world is much more complicated --- the law is much more complicated --- than the rump law taught as the theory of law, the rationalizations and justifications we give ourselves for how we read it.

      •  the acquiescence of many actors. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RandomSequence

        Dearest RandomSequence . . . .

        Just a thought on what we the people have done and will allow if we do not at least attempt to act now.  This complex, complicated, and when we resolve to be powerless we are in my mind, complicit.

        "How did it come about that American military personnel stripped detainees naked, put them in stress positions, used dogs to scare them, put leashes around their necks to humiliate them, hooded them, deprived them of sleep and blasted music at them? Were these actions the result of 'a few bad apples' acting on their own? It would be a lot easier to accept if it were. But that's not the case."
        ~ Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, June 17, 2008
        ***
        It was a short but significant report in Newsweek last week, and it began like this:
        Despite the hopes of many human rights advocates, the new Obama Justice Department is not likely to launch major new criminal probes of harsh interrogations and other alleged abuses by the Bush administration. But one idea that has currency among some top Obama advisers is setting up a 9/11-style commission that would investigate counterterrorism policies and make public as many details as possible. "At a minimum, the American people have to be able to see and judge what happened," said one senior adviser, who asked not to be identified for talking about policy matters. The commission would be empowered to order the U.S. intelligence agencies to open their files for review and question senior officials who approved "waterboarding" and other controversial practices.

        It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson. Betsy L. Angert
        BeThink

        by Bcgntn on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 03:29:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Our lives [and our freedoms] begin to end . . . (0+ / 0-)

      Dearest arodb . . .

      Silence only secures further exploitations as it has in the past, in the present, and likely will in the future.

      Our lives [and our freedoms] begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
      ~ Martin Luther King Junior

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson. Betsy L. Angert
      BeThink

      by Bcgntn on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 03:13:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Zilch is what the American people have done (0+ / 0-)

      Dearest VClib  . . .

      Zilch is what the American people have done for eight years!  Consider the Patriot Act, the strengthened Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, torture, all that we have let stand when we knew and there was plenty of time to act!

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson. Betsy L. Angert
      BeThink

      by Bcgntn on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 03:16:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Um, no resolution could (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UncleCharlie, Gary Norton, Losty

    do anything about pardons. They are granted to the president by the Constitution, specifically. They are nearly plenary in their power and not subject to the mood (even justified) of the Congress.

    Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

    by Something the Dog Said on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:23:40 PM PST

    •  And amending the Constituition is a no go n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  Can the President pardon himself? (0+ / 0-)

      How plenary are they? None of this is explicit in the Constitution and set by precedent. Some of the feared actions are not fully within precedent, so putting out strong opinions are quite likely to influence how precedent is read legally.

      The world ain't so simple --- the constitution in many things is a miasma of intentions.

      •  In theory he might be able to. (0+ / 0-)

        Until one tries it, we probably won't know whether he can or not.

        You are correct that if a president used the pardon power in a way that most people considered to be flagrant and outrageous some kind of change would probably result from that. The mere prospect that a president might do something like that is not enough to get them stirred up.

        •  Yup (0+ / 0-)

          Until one tries it, we probably won't know whether he can or not.

          In plain English --- until he tries, we don't know whether we'll let him get away with it. And our rule is that if we let one get away with it, we've got to let all of them get away with it.

        •  Self Pardoning (0+ / 0-)

          Until one tries it, we probably won't know whether he can or not.

          You are correct that if a president used the pardon power in a way that most people considered to be flagrant and outrageous some kind of change would probably result from that. The mere prospect that a president might do something like that is not enough to get them stirred up.

          No one really knows the answer because it has never happened and been litigated. However, the majority view is that a president can pardon himself (assuming he does so prior to impeachment). Art. II Sec. 2 of the Constitution states, in part, that the president "shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment." The purpose of this clause was to insure the separation of powers by preventing the courts from using the law as a legal blackmail against the president.

    •  Trial Separation (0+ / 0-)

      You're correct, nothing can be don about the 'pardoned'....but being pardoned from criminality does not mean that these people can't testify as to what happened and who did what, before the Judiary or in a court of law. Nadler's resolution allows for that.

      •  A pardon is ignored if it violates Constitution (0+ / 0-)
        •  Precedent? (0+ / 0-)

          A pardon is ignored if it violates Constitution

          Any precedent? I dont believe that you are correct because the power to pardon is delegated to the president in Article II, Section 2, Clause 1, which says simply that the president "shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment." There are 30 documents excerpted with respect to the clause, starting with the Records of the Federal Convention, wherein one finds this sardonic note from the great George Mason, to wit: "The President of the United States has the unrestrained power of granting pardons for treason, which may be sometimes exercised to screen from punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the crime, and thereby prevent a discovery of his own guilt."

          •  He can't pardon in cases of impeachment. He can't (0+ / 0-)

            pardon for violations of state laws. Those pardons violate the constitution. With the considerable liberties W has taken I find it difficult to believe we can't Ken Starr him, even after he leaves office.

            •  Yes, but.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JerichoJ8

              A president can't pardon in cases where impeachment proceedings have begun and yes, the president cannot pardon someone for a state offense. But those are the limitations, there is nothing that states a violation of the Constitution is not pardonable...unless you can show me one...

              •  If it violates Constitutional limits on pardons.. (0+ / 0-)

                correction

                •  The Bill of Rights says I can bear arms. Does (0+ / 0-)

                  that mean I can own a nuclear weapon? No because it's unreasonable and unsafe.  Just because it's not specific doesn't mean I can abuse it.

                  They put the "impeachment" exception in there to prevent presidents from abusing the power of pardon and using the "nuclear option" like Bush(I) who pardoned several people who were implicated in Iran Contra.  

                  They said if there's a case of impeachment you can't pardon in that case. It's the legislature's call on the scope of the case and those involved, and it's the Courts who hold the final check.  

                  The Framers didn't specify that only the individual being impeached couldn't be pardoned. If that was there intention, I'm sure they would have specified.  

    •  silence is not golden (0+ / 0-)

      Dearest Something the Dog Said  . . .

      They are nearly plenary in their power and not subject to the mood (even justified) of the Congress.

      I believe words and the will of the people has power.  George W. Bush says he does not read polls yet he refers to these surveys.  The President is not oblivious; thus, the statement of "inclination."  If the American people had ever dared to do other than allow for torture as long as they had inexpensive fuel and food, perhaps the Patriot Act, the wiretaps, the prisons, the wars, would not be!

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson. Betsy L. Angert
      BeThink

      by Bcgntn on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 03:44:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wrong (6+ / 0-)

    This:

    This legislation would prevent preemptive Presidential pardons.  

    is factually incorrect. The President's right to issue pardons is explicitly stated in the Constitution, and can't be abridged by the House.

    If you read the text, it expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that he shouldn't, which is parliamentary akin to asking him nicely not to. If this passed - which it wouldn't - nothing would prevent Bush from pardoning anyone he chooses.

    All this would do, assuming the Senate also passed something similar, would order "the next Attorney General of the United States appoint an independent counsel to investigate, and, where appropriate, prosecute illegal acts by senior officials of the administration of President George W. Bush."

    AT&T offers exciting work for recent graduates in computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application.

    by Scipio on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:24:10 PM PST

    •  That would actually be pretty strong as (0+ / 0-)

      a reflection of the political support for pushing the law to its limits. That's how the law actually acts and gets transformed. The President's right to issue pardons is actually fairly implicit:

      The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

      That's not a clearcut, complete statement by any stretch of the imagination. Can he pardon himself? Can he give preemptive pardons? Can he give blanket pardons? Can he pardon for cash?

      What was the original intention? It's completely unclear, and the current power is primarily a function of tradition, not of simple reading.

  •  The resolution doesn't prevent pardons. It is a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TerribleTom, StuHunter

    sense of the House, not even the full Congress, resolution expressing opposition to preemptive pardons.

  •  If the pardon power comes directly from the (0+ / 0-)

    Constitution, how can Congress limit it? The judiciary could limit it by declaring the preemptive pardon unconstitutional, but that would require the DOJ to prosecute someone who has received one, and then probably taking it all the way to the Supremes.

    All that is required for evil to flourish is for good people to stand by and do nothing.

    by davewill on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:24:51 PM PST

    •  Um, if it is in the Constitution, it is pretty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Something the Dog Said

      hard to argue that it is unconstitutional.

      •  I could make an argument... (0+ / 0-)

        The constitution says:

        [The President] shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

        I would argue that a pardon wasn't valid unless it named a particular offense and a particular person. The biggest problem is that Carter blanket pardoned draft dodgers, and this would suggest that his action wasn't constitutional.

        All that is required for evil to flourish is for good people to stand by and do nothing.

        by davewill on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:32:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But there were other previous (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bustacap, UncleCharlie

          pardons for political resistance that Carter relied on for his precedent. The pardon of all rebels in the Civil War for example.

          This would be different. It would be pardoning for crimes committed at the behest of the president, which is a better argument against the pardon than the blanket nature.

          Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

          by Something the Dog Said on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:33:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If there was an impeachment proceeding - (0+ / 0-)

          could Congress consider all members of the executive administration a party to those proceedings and as such ineligible for pardon?

          Does it have to be a President being impeached?  Are there cases where other members of Exec branch are impeached?

        •  The only specificity in that Clause is exclusion (0+ / 0-)

          of cases of impeachment.  That's where the judiciary committee could stir it up if they introduced articles to the floor.

      •  Except that it is not settled (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UncleCharlie, TerribleTom

        law as to what the president can do in terms of pardoning himself. The framers assumed that if there was a criminal president, it would be taken care of by impeachment. They did not see a situation where a sitting Congress would not take action against clear cut crimes.

        Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

        by Something the Dog Said on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 02:32:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How can someone pardon (0+ / 0-)

    when no charge has been filed?  The President may have a Constitutional power to pardon crimes but before the fact?  I haven't fully researched it yet but I highly doubt this is so.  The founding fathers weren't that generous.  Or rather, I think they were too suspicious.

    Blanket pardons before the fact are a bit much like indulgences.  Executive privilege only lasts while one is executive by any interpretation of the idea.

  •  and (0+ / 0-)

    the blanket pardons of President Carter for draft dodgers probably wasn't legal, not in the Constitutional sense.  What it was was moral and acceptable.

    •  Sorry, but (0+ / 0-)

      unless you are five of the justices of the SCOTUS you don't have the power to decide what is and is not constitutional.

      •  Yes you can --- just fewer people listen to you.. (0+ / 0-)

        SCOTUS doesn't have magical powers --- just tradition and precedent. At the beginning of the Republic, it wasn't clear at all that SCOTUS had the power to adjudicate constitutionality --- SCOTUS just declared it so, and the rest of the country went along.

        SCOTUS is often wrong, and later generations find a way to reverse the decision. The fact of constitutionality and the legal status of constitutionality are different -- you are always free to argue as a law professor that SCOTUS is a bunch of criminal imbeciles, and you may even have enough pull to eventually change their findings by your cultural legacy.

  •  There was another diary like this yesterday. (0+ / 0-)

    This one is even dumber than that one was.

    •  And Your Comment Is... (0+ / 0-)

      There was another diary like this yesterday.
      This one is even dumber than that one was.

      There is nothing "dumb" about this diary, there are only dumb responses, such as the one Im answering to. Since you attacked the diarist and another diarist as well, you might give a reason as to why you saw fit to do so. Words are cheap, ideas are welcome!

      •  Anybody who claims (0+ / 0-)

        that a congressional resolution can stop the president from issueing pardons is showing serious ignorance of the US constitution. That's dumb.

        •  Comprehend? (0+ / 0-)

          Anybody who claims
          that a congressional resolution can stop the president from issueing pardons is showing serious ignorance of the US constitution. That's dumb.

          Then you need some help with your comprehension skills. Here's what the diarist has written in their diary..

          Please America remember; only the people can accept or end a cycle of high crimes and misdemeanors.  I invite you to tell your Congressman and woman of your concerns, sign the petition, and send a Letter to your local Editors.  Let us begin to be a government of, by, and for the people.  Please do what you can, speak out.  Silence only secures further exploitations as it has in the past, in the present, and likely will in the future.

          ...and the diarist is correct. The way to reform or amend the constitution is to do exactly what the diarist asks you to do here. Complacency gets you nowhere and neither does your cynicism. I don't see where the diarist makes the claim that you have expressed.

  •  Duh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StuHunter

    First, there are 9 Justices in the Supreme court.  Second, any American can post a comment or express an opinion.  Maybe it doesn't have legal impact but it is the right of every American citizen to freely express themselves.  Even if you, in your granduer think its dumb.

  •  I did not agree with Pelosi and Reid (0+ / 0-)

    over impeachment.  The more I have thought about it the more I understand their response.

    Suppose the House impeached gwb.  That would mean prick cheney would be elevated.  OMG!!!!

    I guess, I'll stick with the gwb.  he hasn't done the damage I think prick cheney would do.  Granted prick cheney has still done a fair bit of damage, but giving him the big chair would be super bad.

    Do I want a fast impeachment of prick cheney?  Yep. Do I want an even faster impeachment gwb following the prick cheney impeachment? Yep.  

    Timeline: January 6, 2009, 3:30pm, prick impeached.  January 6, 2009, 3:35pm gwb impeached.
    January 6, 2009, 3:36pm  Pelosi sworn in for 14 days.

    I know, I know, not realistic.  But, dream big.

    Warm, buttery, moist and tender --- are we there yet?

    by winter outhouse on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 03:20:07 PM PST

  •  Arts. of impeachment = no pardons for accessories (0+ / 0-)

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site