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PRESIDENTIAL PARDONS: Does the President Have the Power to Self-Pardon?
The U.S. Constitution grants the president nearly absolute pardoning power. If the framers of the U.S. Constitution had wished to prohibit self-pardoning, they would have done so explicitly. If the president commits a crime, it is Congress’s job to remove him or her from office through impeachment.
The U.S. Constitution does not grant the president the power to pardon himself or herself. A self-pardon would be just the kind of abuse of power the framers intended to avoid. No one is above the law, and pardoning oneself for a crime would constitute a president’s failure to faithfully execute the nation’s laws.
Let your students review the facts and decide for themselves: Does the president have the right to self-pardon? Be sure to check out Issues & Controversies’ complete and unbiased coverage of this timely issue. Enhance the debate with the discussion questions, “By the Numbers” data, primary sources, audio and video content, editorials, and newsfeed that are linked to the article.
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