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November 3, 2016

"A Proposal to Restructure the Clemency Process — The Vice President as Head of a White House Clemency Office"

The title of this post is the title of this interesting new essay authored by Paul Larkin and now available via SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The need for reconsideration of the federal clemency process is a real one, and there is a consensus that the Justice Department should no longer play its traditional doorkeeper role. Using the vice president as the new chief presidential clemency adviser offers the president several unique benefits that no other individual can supply without having enjoyed a prior close personal relationship with the chief executive.

Whoever is sworn into office at noon on January 20, 2017, as the nation’s 45th President should seriously consider using as his principal clemency adviser the person who was sworn into the vice presidency immediately beforehand. The president, clemency applicants, and the public might just benefit from that new arrangement.

November 3, 2016 at 07:15 PM | Permalink


But vice presidents often aspire to become president. The author suggests that "the vice president gives the president some political cover by sharing in any potential blame should the president’s decisions prove unpopular." The president doesn't need political cover on his or her way out. The vice president, who may well become a presidential nominee sooner than later, needs it more than anyone.

Posted by: Ryan | Nov 3, 2016 7:59:25 PM

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