Why pardoning Nixon was wrong.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Dec. 29 2006 6:48 PM

Why Pardoning Nixon Was Wrong

Ignore the cost-free magnanimity of Ford's rehabilitators. You had it right the first time.

(Continued from Page 1)

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

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loath NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Science

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 17 2014 4:08 PM How Teflon Is Vladimir Putin's Popularity?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 1:59 PM Ask a Homo: Secret Ally Codes 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 4:36 PM Is Nonfiction the Patriarch of Literary Genres?
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 4:07 PM Kern Your Enthusiasm: The Genius of Jenson’s Roman
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?