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But I would go further. Alexander Hamilton suggested in The Federalist Papers , No. 74 , that the presidential pardon power had a twofold purpose: to provide a means of tempering with executive clemency the sometimes harsh results of rigid application of the law and as a tool of statecraft . Hamilton’s example of the second purpose was the use of a well-timed pardon to potential rebels or insurrectionaries to prevent open conflict. Over the succeeding centuries, multiple presidents have employed pardons and amnesties for reasons of state, often after hostilities to reconcile a divided country or region. Notable illustrations include George Washington’s pardons of participants in the Whiskey Rebellion, Madison’s amnesties to deserters in the War of 1812, Andrew Johnson’s pardons of Confederates after the Civil War, and the post-Vietnam War pardons of draft law offenders by Presidents Ford and Carter.

Neither the mercy nor statecraft rationale for pardons can be extended to the issuance of pardons for partisan political ends. Of course, one must tread carefully here because one man’s exercise of mercy or statecraft is another man’s partisan political maneuver. Thomas Jefferson pardoned violators of the Alien and Sedition Acts because he thought that the Act was probably unconstitutional and certainly contrary to American principles. But Jefferson had opposed the Acts in the first place and the pardons pleased his political supporters. Barack Obama welltree Women Men Indoor Outdoor Slippers Fur Lined Winter Waterproof Clog House Shoes Navy 4AhXIkXafy
of hundreds of drug law violators. For many observers, this was a long-overdue and even insufficient reaction to over-criminalization of narcotics offenses. For Obama’s harsher critics, it could be portrayed as a pander to his electoral coalition.

Likewise, there is plainly some constitutional room for pure whimsicality in presidential judgment about what offenses deserve executive clemency.

Nonetheless, there is no obvious precedent for what appears to be an emerging pattern with Trump — pardons issued almost exclusively (1) to Trump political allies or fellow travelers, (2) to friends or friends of friends, or (3) for the purpose of sending political messages. D’Souza and former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio plainly fall in the ally and fellow traveler box. In the second category is the DC UnisexChild Pure Elastic Black/Black/Black 15 M US Little Kid L26tLaIz
whose case seems to have been brought to Trump’s attention by Victoria Toensing, who with her husband and law partner Joe diGenova, is an ardent public defender of Trump and was briefly set to represent him. In the third category is the pardon of Kristian Mark Saucier. Saucier was a sailor convicted of the unauthorized retention of defense information and Trump explicitly compared his treatment to the supposed failure of the Justice Department to prosecute a top Clinton aide. Some have CHFSO Womens Chic Solid Square Toe Buckle Low Top Slip On Mid Block Heel Walk Pumps Shoes Apricot hyHBo
that the Libby pardon also falls in the signaling category inasmuch as Libby was convicted of the kinds of crimes, perjury and obstruction of justice, that figure so heavily in the ongoing Mueller investigation.

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Portraits top to bottom: Robert P. Young Jr and Edward Manfield

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Edward Mansfield, Robert Young are up for consideration.


Lawrence S. Bacow

Photograph by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications

President Bacow’s First-Day Message

A community letter as the new administration begins


Robert Reid-Pharr

Courtesy ofRobert Reid-Pharr

Gender Studies Appoints Robert Reid-Pharr

The CUNY scholar will become the first senior faculty hire for the program, which has added new members in recent years.


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Solar panels on the roof and fixed shading on the windows suggest that this is no ordinary wood-shingled house.

Photograph by Stu Rosner

The Brain in the Basement

The Center for Green Buildings and Cities aims to reduce energy used to heat and cool buildings to nearly zero.

July-August 2018

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Elsie Sunderland traces the flows of human pollutants in the oceans. They come back to bite us.

Overharvesting threatens global fisheries with collapse.

Photograph by Getty Images

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A worldwide decline in wild saltwater-fish populations threatens subsistence fishermen and the communities they feed.

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FYRE’s student steering committee

Photograph courtesy of FYRE

“This Entire Campus Belongs to You”

Harvard begins a program to acclimate freshmen from “historically marginalized communities.”


Want Freshmen to Bond? Take

Kenton Shimozaki ’19 reflects on lessons learned at Harvard’s First-Year Outdoor Program.


Humor, Too

Phoebe Lakin ’18 invokes J.K. Rowling.

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