Virtual Event – “Perspectives on the Pardon Power”

May 6, 2024


The Constitution provides that the President of the United States “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” Though there is no doubt that the president enjoys broad discretion in the application of this power, presidents of both parties have come under sharp criticism for how they’ve chosen to apply it.

Now, as a former and possibly future president finds himself and his associates under criminal indictment, legal and practical questions surrounding the application of the pardon power — and its intersection with impeachment and assertions of presidential immunity — have taken center stage.

We hosted an expert panel to discuss the roots of the pardon power, its use and abuse, and its legal limits (if any). We also discussed custom and institutional guardrails around pardon misuse that have developed over time, and whether Congress has any additional options to respond to what it may perceive as misuse of the power.

Watch the playback here.



Gary Schmitt

Senior Fellow,
American Enterprise Institute


Justin Florence

Managing Director & Co-Founder,
Protect Democracy


Shannen Coffin

Partner and Appeals and Advocacy Chair, Steptoe. Former Counsel to Vice President Cheney


Gregg Nunziata

Executive Director, Society for the Rule of Law. Former Chief Nominations Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee


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