Don’t Force Catalans to Choose Between Independence and the Status Quo
Last night I wrote that time is running out to avoid a constitutional crisis in Spain. The Catalans are determined to hold an independence referendum in October; the central government in Madrid is determined to prevent one.
This seems to be a case of an unstoppable force meeting an unmovable object, but there may still be a way out. Read more
“For My Friends, Anything. For My Enemies, the Law.”
Donald Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, a former Arizona sheriff who was found guilty last month of criminal contempt of court, reminds me of that adage of South American dictators: “For my friends, anything. For my enemies, the law.”
The president can grant clemency to anyone, but Trump’s predecessors used this power carefully.
David Frum writes in The Atlantic that Barack Obama only issued his first round of pardons two years into his presidency. George W. Bush waited until May 2004, six months before his reelection.
Trump, by contrast, appears to have put no formal deliberation into Arpaio’s pardon. He didn’t even wait until the former sheriff could be sentenced! Read more