I don't mean to overstate my opposition to Nixon's pardon. I didn't think it was a world-shattering calamity then, and I don't think it was a world-shattering calamity now. But it did not serve the interests of justice, it had an unfortunate consequence in the Weinberger pardon, and it carried a mild whiff of corruption. Ford placed great stock in the fact that, according to a 1915 Supreme Court decision in Burdick v. United States, acceptance of a pardon constitutes an admission of guilt. But in May 1977, Nixon the ex-president would tell David Frost, "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal." Which do you remember—that quotation, or Burdick v. United States, a copy of which Ford would carry around with him for the rest of his life? Pardoning Nixon was wrong, and the death of the very nice man who did it does not change that.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse
An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.