Pardon Power Amendment

Congress must create and at all times maintain laws which delegate the power of review of Presidential pardons to some deliberative party. This party is to ensure that a pardon does not pose any conflict of interest to the President, before that pardon is able to become fulfilled.

Should this party determine that the pardon may reasonably pose some conflict of interest, then the pardon may not pass without the consent of 55% of the Senate.

What is the point of this? Surely abuse of the pardoning process is covered by impeachment?

I’m not sure I agree with the Amendment, but the way it’s worded, it would prevent an inappropriate pardon. Now an impeachment could remove the President, but the pardon would have already been granted. It also applies a lesser remedy than impeachment which is pretty severe.

The mere threat of impeachment (which presidents who haven’t committed a heinous crime have mostly been able to wriggle out of, and therefore might not heed) is not the same as having been impeached already. Preventing an inappropriate pardon is important, because once given, a pardon looks like it would be pretty difficult to retract.

As much as I think Trump’s pardons are bullshit, I think I’m more okay with pardons being given to bad peopl than I am with a political process to determine whether a good person may have one.

It’s like the criminal justice system: we know that people who committed crimes go free, and we don’t close that “loophole” because we are more okay with that than the risk that more innocent people go to prison.

For the sake of argument, let’s ignore who was president at the time, and just focus on the criminal in an old case. Imagine that it’s three months after the conviction of Charles Manson, and a president pardons him. Hasn’t that president actually committed a very serious offence, meriting MORE of a remedy than just impeachment?

Isn’t conflict of interest a narrow enough topic to ensure that that determination process is going to be followed? These are necessarily people who have already been convicted, who have necessarily already had the benefit of the intentionally unclosed loophole.

There is very little or no guidance from the founders of the US on what ought to be done if a president turns out to be on a deliberate crusade against the entire topic of ethics and integrity. I get the impression they trusted The People to never elect such a person. If they did, they were just proven to be mistaken.

I don’t think so, unless you could somehow demonstrate that the president and the pardoned were engaged in a criminal conspiracy to further some illegal activity. That wouldn’t surprise me in Trump’s case.

OK… I can see that I guess…

I think your statement comes back to the OP, that if the possibility for a conspiracy between president and “pardon hopeful” can reasonably be held to exist, then such a pardon should not go through.

Even if Congress were properly checking and balancing the presidency, there’s a tendency (in the past, at least) for presidents to drop a series of pardons very close end of the term. (Clinton was the most egregious about it, but he was hardly unique in doing so.)

Which is rather strange as he’s not even near the top in total pardons granted. Nixon, Johnson, Wilson, Eisenhower, Truman, and Roosevelt granted more than twice as many

This allows the congress to block any presidential pardon. The president is the last resort for correcting a miscarriage of justice at the federal level. It hasn’t been used enough for that purpose and this would likely put an end to it altogether. Someone convicted of a crime as a result of negative popular opinion is not likely to catch a break from congress, democracy is fallible and when it is more democracy is not the solution. It’s a reason we want responsible people of good character to be president, something apparently people don’t care much about at all.

I don’t agree with this assessment. One conflict-of-interest investigator is not “the congress”, and a conflict-of-interest investigator wouldn’t have the latitude to make arbitrary rulings on other matters.

There have been irresponsible and crooked presidents in the past, though none with the systematic and thorough approach to anti-integrity and anti-ethics (and anti-evidence) as the current one.

The lesson is that the famous “We The People” are themselves irresponsible and crooked at times, and despite ideals, cannot be trusted to do the right thing every time. Proposals for safeguarding against that cannot all just be rejected out of hand.

Congress creates and maintains the laws so they can make sure there is no reasonable pardon power left to the president if they feel like it.

Conflict of interest is a vague term. Would Trump’s pardon of Arpaio qualify?

If the President is so seriously afoul of ethics and integrity, he seems to be ripe for impeachment. It would seem to be Congress’ duty to do so, rather than try to apply patches to one particular presidential power gone awry, leaving many others untouched.

How is this conflict of interest investigator chosen? By a political process? Well, that’s not reassuring. Even still, the pardon override process ends in a political process. I think putting the question of justice in a political body is a frankly stupid idea.

I don’t think you understand the pardon power.

Usually, presidents wait until their last few days in office to issue a large number of pardons. As such, impeachment is completely irrelevant. This allows anyone who does something criminal for the President to stay quiet, with the expectation that no matter what prison sentence is handed down, he’ll actually be out by the end of the President’s term.

Paul Manafort, for example, would possibly choose differently than he is, if he believed that Trump would not be able to pardon him in about 2 years.

It’s not really one of the more useful powers of the Presidency and - by equal virtue - it’s not clear that Congress would really care how the President uses it in nearly all instances. It’s not used for nor against the powers of the Legislative branch in any significant measure if at all.

Charles Manson in particular? Well, I’d disagree with it, but I think Nixon could have made a decent case that he’d deprived Manson of a fair trial when he publicly declared that Manson was guilty while the trial was ongoing- which caused a significant scandal at the time, and Manson’s defense moved (unsuccessfully) for a mistrial on that basis. There has been historically a strong precedent against Presidents weighing in on the guilt or innocence of a defendant an ongoing trial, considering the President’s authority over some aspects of the courts.

Assuming it was coincidence, it’s strange that you chose that particular example, given its unusual connection to the actions of the sitting President of the time.

Perhaps a limitation on the ability of a president to use pardons preemptively would be in order.

Congress obviously disagrees, which is no surprise because the majority in congress owes support to the current president. Congress is never required to impeach any president, regardless of evidence and regardless of credible accusations.