December 14, 2020

Talking Heads


December 14, 2020

10:30am to 11:30am



A JCC Sponsored Program

Moderators: Ed Feldstein

Topic: Pardons. Presidential Pardons

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you ever tried to get yourself out of a parking or speeding ticket? What did you say or do? Did it work?

2. The President's pardon power is limited to Federal offenses. The Constitution (Article II, Section 2, Clause 1) grants the President the power to pardon "offenses against the United States." An offense that violates state law, but not Federal law, is an offense against that state rather than an offense against the United States. It is important to realize that the full extent of a President’s power to pardon has not been fully resolved. Pardons have been used for presumptive cases such as when President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, who had not been charged with anything, over any possible crimes connected with the Watergate scandal. The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on the legality of such pardons. In addition, the ability of a President to pardon him/her-self has never been tested in the courts, because, no President to date (12/07/2020) has ever taken that action.

2a. Do you think the President should be able to pardon him/her-self? Why?

2b. What do you think about a President issuing presumptive pardons?

2c. What are your ideas regarding the keeping, amending or suspending the constitutional pardon powers of the President?

E-mail Ashley Maloy at or Caren Kern at to RSVP and receive the Zoom link.