For What? Why? And How?
With his Keystone Kops legal team suffering defeat at every turn, Trump’s flailing efforts to overturn the election will soon be over, and his attention will turn, as it must, to life after the White House.
Much as he predicted his fraud complaints BEFORE the election, Trump has long telegraphed his intention to grant himself a pardon. But the very act of a self-pardon seems to me to be an oxymoron – or worse.
It is a cornerstone of judicial doctrine and common sense that one cannot be their own judge and jury. How any sane person can think, even for a moment, that a President could OR should pardon him/herself is beyond rational thought – except it is familiar territory for Trump.
There is not a single shred of evidence that the founding fathers intended that our Constitution, with its intricate system of checks and balances, ever would allow the pardoning powers conferred on Presidents to be extended to themselves.
It is beyond my imagination that even today’s Supreme Court would resolve the question with anything other than a 9-0 vote against. Upholding it would mean that our Constitution no longer makes sense!!
Indeed, we are dealing with a world that has been shaken loose from its foundations of reality. But some things are so basic they are inviolable. Equal justice for all fits, because without it the essence of democracy doesn’t exist.
It should not be necessary to examine the parts of the question. Pardoning oneself is absurd on its face, because by definition it’s simultaneously an admission of guilt and a “get out of jail free” card. The Supreme Court determined more than 100 years ago that people had a right to REFUSE a pardon specifically because accepting one acknowledges guilt (Burdick v. U.S., 211 F. 492).
While I might enjoy a glimmer of glee at Trump pardoning himself and thereby admitting to any number of crimes, I am not at all fond of the idea that one man can singlehandedly subvert the rule of law, to his own benefit, by his own hand. I am not much into praying BUT I do now pray that this bizarre question not be given any more credence.