Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Trump Cannot Pardon Himself --

1. President Donald John Trump cannot pardon himself. It would be a blatant conflict of interest, illegal, immoral and unseemly, a stench in the nostrils of our Nation 2. James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 10: "No [person] is allowed to be a judge in [his/her] own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time . . . .". 3. The Supreme Court held in In re Murchison, 349 U.S. 133, 136 (1955) (Black, J.), "[O]ur system of law has always endeavored to prevent even the probability of unfairness. To this end no man can be a judge in his own case and no man is permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome." See also TWA v. Civil Aeronautics Board, 102 U.S. App. D.C. 391, 392, 254 F.2d 90, 91 (1958); Spencer v. Lapsley, 20 How. 264, 266 (1858); Publius Syrus, Moral Sayings 51 (D. Lyman transl. 1856) ("No one should be judge in his own cause."); Blaise Pascal, Thoughts, Letters and Opuscules 182 (Wight transl. 1859) ("It is not permitted to the most equitable of men to be a judge in his own cause."). 4. As William Blackstone wrote, "[I]t is unreasonable that any man should determine his own quarrel," 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 91 citing Dr. Bonham's Case, 8 Rep. 114a (C.P. 1610); see also City of London v. Wood, 12 Mod. 669, 687 (1701)(Lord Holt)(invalidating fine for refusal to serve as sheriff recovered by the city in its own court of Mayor and Aldermen). See also Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Lavoie, 475 U.S. 813 (1986)(overruling case where Chief Justice of Alabama Supreme Court sat in judgment of case that would set precedent for his own pending case); Ward v. Village of Monroeville, 409 U.S. 57 (1972); Gibson v. Berryhill, 411 U.S. 564 (1973); Withrow v. Larkin, 421 U.S. 35 (1975); Cinderella Career and Finishing Schools, Inc. v. FTC, 425 F.2d 583 (D.C. Cir. 1970); American Cyanamid Co. v. FTC, 363 F.2d 757 (6th Cir. 1966); SCA Services, Inc. v. Morgan, 557 F.2d 110 (7th Cir.1977). 5. A Trump self-pardon is exactly the sort of conflict of interest that Anglo-American courts have been protecting us against for some 410 years. since at least 1610. Dr. Bonham's case, supra; Tumey v. Ohio, 273 U.S. 510, 522-24 (1927) (Taft, C.J.). See also Laird v. Tatum, 409 U.S. 824, 828 (1972) (Rehnquist, J.), holding that it is well-settled that a government official is disqualified from ruling on a case "if [s]he either signs a pleading or brief" or "if he actively participated in any case even though he did not sign a pleading or brief."

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