Northeastern News spoke with Professor Martha Davis, Professor of Law, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) affiliated faculty, regarding recent reports that President Trump may be investigating his powers of executive pardon – specifically whether he could successfully pardon himself.
Professor Davis is an expert on constitutional law, and confirmed that the Constitution lacks clarity on whether a president can self-pardon – it was an unforeseen situation when the Constitution was written, and the language and scope, regarding presidential pardons, was left vague. However, logistically, a pardon would need to go through the Supreme Court, and not just the executive branch. Concerning this step of the process, Professor Davis said “The president can fashion anything he wants as a pardon, but whether or not it stands up in court is the real question… There’s a strong possibility that the court would find inherent conflict in the act of pardoning oneself that goes against basic principles of limited government and fairness that were primary motivators of the Revolution and the constitution’s drafters.”
Read the full article, including Professor Davis’s thoughts on a possible workaround President Trump could attempt, here.