Reason 1 to Pardon Jim Taricani: It’s the Right Thing to do
Rhode Island just passed a separation-of-powers referendum on the state level. But do we have it at the Federal level? Separation-of-powers means that a legislative branch of government makes the laws, a judicial branch of government interprets the laws, and an executive branch of government enforces the laws.
At the moment, Jim Taricani is being denied the protection that separation of powers is supposed to provide. What law did Taricani break? Well, it was not a law exactly, it was a “court-order” not to release information. And who is enforcing this court-order? Well, it is a “special prosecutor” appointed by the judge who issued the order. In other words, in the state of Rhode Island, an American citizen may be imprisoned by his government for violating a rule made by judge Ernest Torres, interpreted by judge Ernest Torres, and enforced by judge Ernest Torres.
This is a clear breach of the principle of separation-of-powers. Fortunately, the Federal constitution anticipated excesses of judicial authority, and provides a remedy — the Presidential pardon.
And, for a variety of reasons, President George W. Bush should be inclined to use his power of the pardon in this case…