More than having a conservative court, and more than overturning Roe v. Wade, the GOP wants Kavanaugh to rule on Gamble v. United States.
One-hundred and fifty years ago, the U.S. adopted a doctrine called “separate sovereigns.” It is exception to the Fifth Amendment’s double-jeopardy clause, which states that a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime.
Now, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is attempting to do away with that exception so that the president will be free to issue pardons to those affected by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Take, for example, Mr. Paul Manafort.
Last month, he was convicted on multiple counts of tax and bank fraud. Currently, both the states of New York and Virginia could still prosecute him for any activity that is in violation of their state laws.
If Hatch has his way, then the president would be able to pardon Manafort from any charges brought by the states.
It also eliminates the possibility that the investigation could be carried on by state authorities if the president were to fire Mueller and derail the probe.
Since Kavanaugh has already publicly said that he believes a president should be exempt from any and all criminal charges and proceedings, his vote to repeal the doctrine is all but guaranteed.
That being said, because the president’s pardon power is Constitutionally limited to “offenses against the United States,” it isn’t actually clear whether or not a presidential pardon could even apply to a state prosecution.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.