Joe Arpaio

Latest in Joe Arpaio

Executive Power

Collateral Damage: The Arpaio Pardon and Separation of Powers

President Trump's pardon of Joe Arpaio, though completely lawful, will have unfortunate collateral effects on the separation of powers.

First, as a matter of raw executive power, the Constitution imposes no limitations on whom the President can pardon—only that the "offences [be] against the United States" and that the pardon be accepted. In that limited sense, there is nothing problematic about Trump's pardon. That’s the easy part, which we can quickly dispose of. But the inquiry hardly ends there.

Donald Trump

The Arpaio Pardon

President Trump issued his pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio apparently without a Justice Department recommendation or even consultation, according to various outlets citing unnamed officials. It is a question that should be asked.

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