April 1, 2023

Presidential Pardons

October 14, 2022 guardrails93x 0

The pardon power granted to the president under Article II, ยง 2 of the U.S. Constitution is intentionally broad. While the president has no power to pardon violations of state law, the president has apparent plenary authority “to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” Until recently, it had never occurred to anyone that the president’s power to issue pardons might extend to pardoning him or herself. While there are arguments against such a reading of the Constitution, the plain language does not forbid it. Is a constitutional amendment required to clarify that the pardon power does not include self-pardons? Should the exclusion also include the president’s family or people who have […]

The Statute of Limitations

October 13, 2022 guardrails93x 0

Statutes of limitations provide cutoff dates for criminal prosecutions. Once the statute of limitations expires, the government may no longer bring charges against a criminal suspect. For most federal crimes, the statute of limitations is five years. With respect to the President of the United States, however, the statute of limitations presents a problem because it is Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. While it is unclear whether this policy is constitutionally required, and while it has never been tested in court, indicting a sitting president would pose immense practical problems even if it were technically constitutional to do so. Consequently, even a one-term president is effectively immune from prosecution for many uncharged crimes if they […]