President Obama finally pardoned somebody who wasn’t a turkey last week, but not before he became slowest Democratic president in U.S. history to use Article II of the Constitution to right a judicial wrong or just exercise his power to demonstrate the ethical virtue of mercy. His choices for pardons could not have been more tepid, however, prompting a withering blog post by Prof. P.S. Ruckman, who champions the pardon power, and keeps meticulous score.
Ruckman had predicted that Obama would end the pardon drought as soon as December hit, noting that recent presidents used the Christmas holidays as a convenient pardon prop. But he is outraged at the small number of pardons, writing,
“Can President Obama say “no?” Yes, he can! Continue reading →
As of last Wednesday, President Obama has pardoned more turkeys than human beings. He has continued the cutesy presidential tradition of bestowing a presidential pardon on a turkey destined for the Thanksgiving table each November of his two years in office, but is approaching a presidential record for the most days in office before finding a U.S. citizen equally worthy of mercy and forgiveness.
There are reasons for this, but no excuse….not from a President who loaded up his White House with Czars overseeing every conceivable White House priority (Why no Pardons Czar?), not from a President who has criticized the disparate, unfair and racially-tinged penalties for crack cocaine over the powdered variety favored by the white middle class, not when are so many worthy candidates for mercy, most with families whose lives could be infinitely enhanced by the ten seconds it takes for Barack Obama to sign his name. Continue reading →