Professor Sujit Choudhry Examines The Question Of Whether A US President Can Pardon Himself

Constitutional law professor Sujit Choudhry of the UC-Berkeley School of Law likes to tackle the tough constitutional questions of the day. He has been teaching about constitutional matters for the past 20 years and is considered to be an international authority on the subject. Sujit Choudhry has provided consulting services around the world when constitutional matters come up and when a country like Libya needs to come up with an entirely new one they bring him in for his expert opinion.

Sujit Choudhry recently blogged about a matter a lot of people would like the answer to which is can an American President pardon himself? This question has come up because the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, has flirted with this issue, check (Twitter.com). Sujit Choudhry dithers between saying that he can pardon himself if he is charged with a crime while at other times saying that it doesn’t matter because he is innocent of committing any crime.

This matter has never been resolved as a matter of law, Sujit Choudhry wrote. Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution has the language about this issue but it is a brief statement and pretty ambiguous, read (Instagram.com). Legal questions about who a President can pardon go back to 1866 and came up when Richard Nixon had his Watergate controversy. They were revisited during the President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky affair.

Sujit Choudhry wrote that some conservative scholars, such as Richard Posner, claim that looking at the entirety of the Constitution’s language it indicates that a President can pardon himself, get more updates on facebook.com. Many scholars disagree, such as legal historian Kurt Metzmeier, and say there’s absolutely no evidence that the people drafting the US Constitution ever intended to give that power to a President. He also points to the English Monarchy where a King or Queen can only grant a pardon to someone else, never themselves. Would the framers of the Constitution have intended to give more power to a President than what an English Monarch had? The answer to that question is clearly no. If President Trump tries to test this issue, though, Sujit Choudhry says it will get very interesting, follow on http://sujitchoudhry.com/.