A JMC Webinar: “The Pardon Power: Uses and Abuses” with Adam Carrington, Corey Brettschneider, and Benjamin Kleinerman

White House, 2019

JMC Webinar: “The Pardon Power: Uses and Abuses” with Adam Carrington, Corey Brettschneider, and Benjamin Kleinerman


On January 5, 2021, Adam Carrington (Hillsdale College), Corey Brettschneider (Brown University), and Benjamin Kleinerman (Baylor University and The Constitutionalist) discussed the presidential pardon, its nature under (and outside of) the law, and its proper and improper uses. The speakers have recently written for the newly-launched, JMC-supported blog, The Constitutionalist.

The President’s recent pardons and the prospect of more to come in the final days of his term have raised questions about the pardon power. What is the extent of the pardon power? Can the President pardon himself? What are its proper uses? How can pardons be abused?

Benjamin Kleinerman, JMC Board Member and editor of the new JMC-supported website The Constitutionalist, was joined by Adam Carrington (Hillsdale) and Corey Brettschneider (Brown) who have written on the topic for The Constitutionalist and The Atlantic.

JMC Academic Programs Officer Thomas Cleveland acted as moderator.

Further reading from the participants:

Click here to watch a recording on YouTube >>



Corey BrettschneiderCorey Brettschneider is a Professor of Political Science at Brown University, where he teaches constitutional law and politics, as well as Visiting Professor of Law at Fordham Law School. He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Law School. His recent writing has appeared in the New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post. His most recent book is The Oath and The Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents, which Kirkus calls “vital reading for all Americans.” Professor Brettschneider is frequently interviewed about constitutional issues on BBC, Sirius XM, and other media outlets. He is also the author of two books about constitutional law and civil liberties and numerous articles that appear in top academic journals and law reviews. His constitutional law casebook is widely used in classrooms throughout the United States. Professor Brettschneider holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Learn more about Corey Brettschneider >>



Adam Carrington is an Associate Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College. There, he teaches courses on American institutions, Constitutional law, and politics & literature. His research focuses on matters of Constitutional law and separation of powers. His first book on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field was published in 2017 by Lexington Books. During the 2020-2021 academic year, Carrington is a Garwood Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program at Princeton University.

Learn more about Adam Carrington >>



Benjamin KleinermanBenjamin Kleinerman is the RW Morrison Professor of Political Science at Baylor University. He is also editor of The Constitutionalist and on the Board of Directors of the Jack Miller Center. Professor Kleinerman received his B.A. at Kenyon College in Political Science and his Ph.D. at Michigan State University in Political Science. Kleinerman was the founding Chair of the American Political Thought section of APSA. His research focuses mostly on presidential power in relation to the separation of powers. He has published articles on this subject in Perspectives on Politics, APSR, and several edited volumes, including Nomos and The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Professor Kleinerman’s first book, The Discretionary President: The Promise and Peril of Executive Power, was published by the University Press of Kansas and he is currently working on a book titled The Crisis Presidency.  Professor Kleinerman teaches classes on American political thought and political institutions.

Professor Kleinerman is a JMC board member and faculty partner.

Learn more about Benjamin Kleinerman >>



Thomas Cleveland joined the Jack Miller Center August 2019 as Academic Programs Officer. He received his B.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, where he studied the history of science, math, and philosophy. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston College in 2016 with a dissertation on Plato’s accounts of the origins of political life in the Laws. Before joining the Jack Miller Center he was a postdoctoral fellow with the Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University and taught political theory and American politics at Miami University of Ohio and the College of the Holy Cross.

Learn more about Thomas Cleveland >>



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