Abstract

The presidential pardon power is an oft-overlooked political institution that seems to be perceived as being innocuous and irrelevant to larger political concerns. This research examines the pardons issued by President Donald J. Trump in an effort to evaluate whether they align with constitutional expectations regarding the use of this unrestricted presidential power. Dr. Jeffrey Crouch, a leading scholar on the subject, has demonstrated that the pardon power was intended to be used as a disinterested act of grace or an act in the public interest. A close survey of President Trump’s use of this power shows that many of his pardons do not meet these standards. Instead, President Trump often used pardons to protect political allies or favor personal friends. In doing so, Mr. Trump derogated from the Constitution and elevated allies and friends above the rule of law. The implications of this usage for American democracy are spelled out.

Thesis Completion

2022

Semester

Spring

Thesis Chair

Marien, Daniel

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Politics, Security, and International Affairs

Degree Program

International Relations; Comparative Politics

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

5-1-2022

Restricted to the UCF community until 5-1-2022; it will then be open access.

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