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house Bill H. Joint Res. 115

Should the Constitution Prevent the President From Issuing a Self-Pardon?

Argument in favor

The president shouldn’t be able to issue a self-pardon for crimes they may have committed, and the Constitution needs to be amended to clarify that before a rogue president tries it and puts the constitutionality of a self-pardon in the hands of the courts.

Ticktock's Opinion
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10/20/2017
The President should be held responsible for his governance during his term and should not be able to evade the consequences of his decisions. No self pardons.
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Themis's Opinion
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10/20/2017
So, let me get this straight; Our sitting president has bragged about his unlimited pardon power, "joked" about his ability to get away with murder and assault. We actually granted him that power in response, and there is some question about whether or not we should put limits on that power? How would you feel if Clinton had won?
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Rebecca's Opinion
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10/20/2017
Conflict of interest and a license for the office of the president to do whatever it wants with no fear of consequences
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Argument opposed

This is a partisan bill aimed at the president that’s unlikely to be ratified by enough states to amend the Constitution. A president that has to issue a self-pardon would be so politically toxic they’d either have to resign or face a hostile Congress for the remainder of their term.

Mark's Opinion
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10/20/2017
They are trying any way they can to take our President down!! This is B.S. to Evan bring this to the floor!!! 🤡🤡’s
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Andrew's Opinion
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10/20/2017
The representative who is bringing this up didn’t mind Obama doing the very same thing. Looks like he just hates Trump. Also Trump stated he has the right to pardon anyone he sees fit to pardon which he did for the sheriff who was doing his job. Wake up people.
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CameronHernandez's Opinion
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10/20/2017
Yes, he shouldn’t be able to pardon himself, but it should not be an amendment. Maybe a regular law?
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What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 115?

This resolution would propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that denies the president the ability to pardon himself for any offense committed against the U.S.

Because it proposes a constitutional amendment, after this resolution’s passage by two-thirds of both chambers of Congress it would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures (38 states) to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Impact

State legislatures; Congress; the president; and the Constitution.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 115

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Al Green (D-TX) said that he introduced this proposed constitutional amendment to prevent the president from issuing a self-pardon:

“I rise today to defend the Constitution and avert a constitutional crisis… that would be created should any rogue president attempt to pardon himself… I do not believe that the president has the ability to self-pardon… I do not believe that the Constitution allows a president to forgive himself for the most egregious crimes barred by our laws."

This legislation currently has the support of three Democratic cosponsors in the House.


Of NoteIt isn’t clear whether the president has the power to issue a self-pardon because no president has ever tried to pardon himself and been prosecuted, thus creating an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule on the question. The Constitution’s only explicit limitation on pardon power is that it can’t be used by a president to absolve himself of an impeachment, while it’s implied that the president doesn’t have the authority to pardon offenses committed under state law.

A 1974 opinion written by the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel four days before President Richard Nixon resigned suggested that the president couldn’t pardon himself “under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case.” On the other hand, in a 1998 House Judiciary Committee hearing Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) — who now chairs the committee — said the “prevailing opinion is that the president can pardon himself.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: JTSorrell / iStock)

Official Title

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to clarify the presidential pardoning power.

joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJuly 27th, 2017
    The President should be held responsible for his governance during his term and should not be able to evade the consequences of his decisions. No self pardons.
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    So, let me get this straight; Our sitting president has bragged about his unlimited pardon power, "joked" about his ability to get away with murder and assault. We actually granted him that power in response, and there is some question about whether or not we should put limits on that power? How would you feel if Clinton had won?
    Like (18)
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    Conflict of interest and a license for the office of the president to do whatever it wants with no fear of consequences
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    This is really getting tiring to see this type of legal quackery happening. Why is this even a question? Do we allow other criminals to pardon themselves? Heck no we don't, the president is no different. Please squash this and let's get back to the real issues at hand.
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    Self pardon makes the president above the law, which he should not be
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    Pretty sure this doesn’t need an explanation, you commit a crime, you face the punishment...including the president. You should not be allowed to pardon yourself, ESPECIALLY the corrupt politicians.
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    Clear conflict of interest.
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    Nobody even the president should have the power to excuse themselves from a crime.
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    I hate that we even have to have an amendment to keep the president from doing this. Disgusting little shit. It shouldn't have been used for Nixon, either.
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    The president should not be above the law.
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    No one should be able to be their own judge. In fact the Supreme Court already ruled this once. Sadly some very infantile people have intrenched themselves in our government, and they need clarification on the basics of the spirit of our laws, so this amendment has become critical. Please vote to pass it.
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    The president should not be able to pardon themselves. They are not above the laws of this country.
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    They need to do this quickly before 45 learns it’s a thing.
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    NO PRESIDENT WHETHER REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT SHOULD BE ABLE TO PARDON THEMSELVES. THIS SETS UP A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT AND USURPS THE CONSTITUTION AND WILL OF THE VOTERS
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    Vote yay! Self-pardon is one step closer to autocratic, totalitarian plutocracy, hardly American values.
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    Does any one remember the Magna Carta? No one is above the law. Not the king. And certainly not the president.
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    My yea may be self-contradictory. No president should be able to pardon himself. But do we really need amendment for this? Amendments should be reserved for more critical issues. (Congress needs to impeach the guy and save us from the need to push an amendment through 50 states)
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    The President should not be able to declare a self pardon and should be something held under the checks and balances clause
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    The President should never have the option to pardon himself. Also the Supreme Court should provide clarification/interpretation on the constitutional right for this executive privilege, specifically in regards to what restrictions, if any that would apply to the President himself.
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    No one should be above the law of the land!!!!
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