Reason 3 to Pardon Jim Taricani: The President should Seize the Teaching Moment
Reason 1: Why Pardoning Taricani is the Right Thing.
Reason 2: Why the Right Thing is Consistent with the President’s Agenda.
Institutionally, American democracy has forgotten something — all three branches of government are charged with defending the rights of the individual. Somewhere that idea was lost, replaced by the idea that the court system alone was charged with protecting individual liberty, and the other branches of government, and the general population, were expected to obey judges’ orders without question (unless another judge overturned an order.)
That flaw, of course, is that the people who make up the judiciary branch are just as human and fallible as the people who make up the other branches. They can make mistakes and overstep their authority — for what they think are the right reasons — just like the other branches can. And that is why there are checks built into the system that limit the power of judges.
In the Jim Taricani Case, President Bush has an opportunity to step forward and remind the nation of the fact that the court system is not more equal than others when it comes to protecting individual freedom; the executive is as responsible for protecting rights as are the courts. The President has the authority — and the duty — to reverse actions of the judicial branch that would improperly deny an individual’s freedom.