The Washington Post reports:
Protect Democracy, an activist group seeking to thwart Trump’s violations of legal norms, and a group of lawyers have sent a letter to Raymond N. Hulser and John Dixon Keller of the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department, arguing that the pardon goes beyond constitutional limits. In their letter obtained by Right Turn, they argue:
“While the Constitution’s pardon power is broad, it is not unlimited. Like all provisions of the original Constitution of 1787, it is limited by later-enacted amendments, starting with the Bill of Rights. For example, were a president to announce that he planned to pardon all white defendants convicted of a certain crime but not all black defendants, that would conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
“Similarly, issuance of a pardon that violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause is also suspect. Under the Due Process Clause, no one in the United States (citizen or otherwise) may ‘be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’ But for due process and judicial review to function, courts must be able to restrain government officials.
“Due process requires that, when a government official is found by a court to be violating individuals’ constitutional rights, the court can issue effective relief (such as an injunction) ordering the official to cease this unconstitutional conduct. And for an injunction to be effective, there must be a penalty for violation of the injunction—principally, contempt of court.”
The Post observes that there’s no precedent for this kind of challenge, but that there’s also no precedent for this kind of pardon. Hit the link for much more.