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69 votes
Accepted

Were people born in the Confederacy eligible to run for president?

Technically, they were born in the United States, at least under US law, and the law of any existing nation. The United States never recognised the Confederacy, nor did any other country. There are ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
49 votes

Can the President of the United States pardon proactively?

Yes. The precedent is President Gerald Ford's pardon of his predecessor Richard Nixon in proclamation 4311 before any possible prosecution had started. The pardon was granted specifically to prevent ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
46 votes

Can a US President, after impeachment and removal, be re-elected or re-appointed?

Impeachment of a president does not on conviction automatically disqualify the convicted party from becoming president again. However, after conviction, the Senate can vote to add to the punishment ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.9k
38 votes
Accepted

If the President's power to grant pardons is absolute, could he face any consequences?

There are 2 separate issues here: what happens to such a President and what happens to the person who has been pardoned. What happens to the person who has been pardoned? While at least one attempt at ...
grovkin's user avatar
  • 2,598
37 votes
Accepted

Do US presidential pardons include the cancellation of financial punishments?

Yes Presidential pardons only deal with breaches of Federal law. So, if the punishment is a fine then that penalty is waived. However, if the fine is punishment for breach of state law, the pardon ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 214k
35 votes
Accepted

How can the US president give an order to a civilian?

The executive branch of the US government, or specific parts of it, can demand that a person do particular things, when a statute has authorized such a demand. Such demands are not usually made at the ...
David Siegel's user avatar
34 votes

Would a Trump-nominated Supreme Court justice be expected to recuse themselves from a Trump case?

No, That Would not be treated as a Conflict of Interest There is precedent. The four Justices appointed by President Nixon did not recuse themselves on cases involving Nixon, including subpoenas to ...
David Siegel's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

Can a former United States president be criminally prosecuted for acts committed when he was president?

Yes The rule against prosecuting a sitting President is not a law, it is a Justice Department opinion and policy. The justification for it is that dealing with a criminal case would be severely ...
David Siegel's user avatar
29 votes

Can the President of the United States pardon proactively?

Questionable and Unsettled First, I am not a lawyer, nor a constitutional scholar. but Ford's pardon of Nixon was never tested in court so there is no precedent here. Some would like to claim that the ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 459
28 votes
Accepted

Can someone explain the Trump immunity ruling?

You are asking about Trump v. United States, 603 U.S. ___ (2024), the final decided case of October Term 2023 (decided on July 1, 2024, the same day as this Q&A). These judgments are meant to ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 61.3k
27 votes

If the President's power to grant pardons is absolute, could he face any consequences?

Bribery of public officials is in itself a crime (18 USC § 201), for both the giver and the recipient: (b) Whoever— (1) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
25 votes

What happens if Congress declares war, but POTUS refuses to fight it?

If President Trump refuses to execute the war, does that become an act of treason on his part? Probably not, but it depends on the definition of treason. Congress could decide that it is, impeach ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.9k
25 votes
Accepted

How are presidential pardons supposed to be used?

When and how are pardons supposed to be used? Why does the Constitution even grant the president the power to pardon? The Constitution provides very little guidance regarding this point, and it isn'...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 224k
21 votes

Why does the Trump immunity decision further delay the trial?

Basically, the issue is that the immunity issue needs to be briefed in light of the newly established SCOTUS immunity test, after the deadline for rehearing of the SCOTUS decision expires. SCOTUS ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 224k
20 votes

Would a Trump-nominated Supreme Court justice be expected to recuse themselves from a Trump case?

There is no hard law (statutory, constitutional or SCOTUS holding) regarding "conflict of interest" for Supreme Court justices. Justices have typically recused themselves in case of ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
19 votes
Accepted

What can happen if the US President has violated campaign finance laws?

Let's start with the most important point first: A campaign finance violation is not a ground to remove an elected official from office, no matter how egregious, on its own, even if one could prove ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 224k
16 votes

How are presidential pardons supposed to be used?

Presidential pardons can be used to pardon someone for any federal crime; if you are convicted of a state crime, the governor of that state has the right to pardon you. Impeachment is the only ...
Putvi's user avatar
  • 3,998
15 votes
Accepted

Can a U.S. President's doctor refuse to answer medical-related questions asked by a Congressional committee?

The Fifth Amendment would not apply, because nothing in the testimony would incriminate the doctor. Indeed nothing would be at all likely to incriminate the President either, it is not a crime to be ...
David Siegel's user avatar
15 votes

Why does the Trump immunity decision further delay the trial?

Surely the indictment against Trump alleges criminal acts well beyond his official duties. So how does this decision contradict the indictment? It's worth noting that the Supreme Court's decision ...
kaya3's user avatar
  • 1,010
14 votes
Accepted

Can I legally deny the President of the United States entry into my home?

Yes. You can deny the President entry to your home unless the President has something that constitutes an exception to that right such as a search warrant. The President does not have any special ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 224k
14 votes
Accepted

Can the President of the US pardon everyone?

Yes. The President can pardon everyone (with the possible exception of himself) of crimes, and can pardon people by category rather than by name. But, the President can only pardon federal crimes ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 224k
14 votes
Accepted

Could the 14th amendment, section 3, keep Trump from holding office for a second term?

I apologize if I'm grossly misinterpreting things here. You are grossly misinterpreting things here. Your mistakes aren't terribly uncommon, but you are completely and totally wrong in what you are ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 224k
13 votes
Accepted

Was it formerly illegal for a woman to be president of the United States?

The language argument about the constitution is that the Constitution uses the pronoun "he" in referring to the president – they would not have used the construction "he or she", or "s/he". Article I ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
13 votes
Accepted

Can the Secret Service arrest someone who uses an illegal drug inside of the White House?

The Secret Service is primarily concerned with protecting the people and information they oversee, not enforcing laws. They have the power to arrest someone for any unlawful conduct, but unless a drug ...
abelenky's user avatar
  • 3,166
11 votes
Accepted

Can the USA military be used as a police force domestically?

The use of the active duty military in a law enforcement role is not unconstitutional but it is prohibited by the posse comitatus act. 18 U.S.C. § 1385 (adopted 1878). The text of the relevant ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 224k
11 votes
Accepted

When is a person legally considered to be "President-elect" in regards to laws against threatening the President?

The US legal code regarding threatening a president is 18 U.S. Code § 871 - Threats against President and successors to the Presidency. The first clause defines how threatening the president is ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
  • 2,028
11 votes

Can Trump become the 46th president

There is no law governing the 'number' of the president. Common sense suggests that a person can't be 45th and 46th; there must be someone in between having the presidency and they will become the ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
11 votes

Do US presidential pardons include the cancellation of financial punishments?

According to the DoJ, A commutation may include remission (release) of the financial obligations that are imposed as part of a sentence, such as payment of a fine or restitution. A remission applies ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
11 votes

Were people born in the Confederacy eligible to run for president?

The requirement is actually not to be born in the US, but to be a natural born citizen. You can be born outside the US and still be a natural born citizen and thus eligible to be elected President. ...
Joey's user avatar
  • 185
10 votes
Accepted

Can the US president be charged of crime such as murder while in office?

Yes. The absence of immunity for a U.S. President's unofficial acts was established both in the Nixon Administration and later in the Clinton Administration. In practice, a prosecutor would be loath ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 224k

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