Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Elwood D. Watson

Committee Members

Dale J. Schmitt, Stephen G Fritz


In this study I propose to examine the usage of the pardoning power of the president as it relates to four aspects: the Nixon pardon, political advancement, defense of the person and his party, and independent private gain through the issuance of pardons. These aspects are all a part of the modern day usage of Article II Section 2 of the Constitution.

The study relies primarily on statements made from the presidents involved, as well as statements made by judicial persons involved in the pardoning process. The study is also drawn from direct investigations, both private and governmental. A good number of secondary sources were used also to establish the historical setting and round out the story where inconsistencies developed.

The study concludes that presidents since Gerald Ford have used his pardon of Richard Nixon as a precedent to allow them a political alibi for questionable endeavors.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

History Commons