Managing the Pardon Power: Should the Justice Department Remain the Gatekeeper?
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. EDT | Zoom
This panel rounds out the theme of the series, by considering whether Donald Trump’s departure from past pardoning practices has paved the way for much-needed reforms in the process by which the president gets advice in pardon matters. Jeffrey Crouch, author of the most comprehensive recent history of the pardon power, will offer an historical perspective on the pardon process, asking whether it has failed in recent years to serve its original purpose of promoting the rule of law and shielding the president from scandal. Rachel Barkow and Paul Larkin have both proposed moving the pardon process out of the Department of Justice to avoid the stranglehold of federal prosecutors, though each has proposed quite different advisory mechanisms with likely differing outcomes: Barkow would create an independent board of officials to receive applications, apply objective standards, and make recommendations to the president, while Larkin believes pardoning is best managed from inside the White House. Margaret Love, who served as pardon attorney under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, has argued that the process by which the president gets advice in pardon matters should stay in Justice but with significant structural changes. These proposals are a hopeful sign that the future of the pardon power is brighter than its recent past.
This event is hosted by the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center at The Ohio State University.
Rachel Barkow, vice dean and Charles Seligson Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
Jeff Crouch, assistant professor of American politics, School of Public Affairs, American University
Paul J. Larkin Jr., Rumpel Senior Legal Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Margaret Love, executive director, Collateral Consequences Resource Center and former U.S. Pardon Attorney
Douglas Berman, executive director, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center