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February 8, 2021

US House subcommittee to hold hearing on means to "Prevent Abuse of the Clemency Power"

The planned start of former Prez Trump's second impeachment trial in the US Senate is sure to be getting all the attention on Capitol Hill tomorrow.  But this webpage notes that there will be an interesting hearing for clemency fans taking place the morning of February 9, 2021 in the the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee. The hearing it titled "Constitutional Means to Prevent Abuse of the Clemency Power," and this webpage lists these scheduled witnesses:

Ms. Caroline Fredrickson, Distinguished Visitor from Practice, Georgetown University Law Center

Ms. Karen Hobert Flynn, President, Common Cause

Mr. Josh Blackman, Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law Houston

Mr. Timothy Naftali, Clinical Associate Professor of Public Service, New York University

February 8, 2021 at 11:10 AM | Permalink


Altering a President's absolute power to pardon and commute is a simple issue. Since the clemency powers are written into the U.S. Constitution, so any changes would require a Constitutional Amendment. The amendment would start as a Bill that would have to be passed by both houses of Congress and be signed by the President (or Congress would have to override a veto). Then, the proposed amendment would have to be passed by the Legislatures of 60% of the states. The last time the U.S. Constitution was amended, the process took 22 or 23 years!

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Feb 8, 2021 11:20:09 AM

Let me correct the percentage of states that must approve the proposed Amendment to 2/3 (67%), or 34 out of 50 states.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Feb 8, 2021 11:39:11 AM

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