Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-65dc7cd545-x46dj Total loading time: 0.19 Render date: 2021-07-24T20:14:53.851Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

The Persistence of Pardons and the End of Attainder

Moral Explanations, Relational Facts, and Institutional Forms

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 July 2018

Matthew Norton
Affiliation:
University of Oregon [mnorton@uoregon.edu]
Corresponding
E-mail address:
Get access

Abstract

Pardons are a well-known form of lawful but extrajudicial power over criminal classifications. They are still in regular use in rule of law regimes around the world. Attainder is the less well-known power to condemn via a legislative rather than a judicial act. Despite their structural similarities, pardon and attainder have exhibited divergent trajectories. One is ubiquitous, the other extinct. Focusing on the divergent trajectories of pardon and attainder during the framing of the U.S. Constitution and thereafter, the article advances an explanation for these phenomena based on asymmetries in the relational facts linking pardon and attainder to other thick moral constructs that constituted the moral system of the framers and their successors. Those facts mattered in their own right, but it was in light of the matrix of founding era moral interpretations that the framers grasped and institutionalized their significance.

Résumé

Les pardons sont une forme bien connue de pouvoir légal de type extrajudiciaire exercé sur les classifications criminelles. Ils sont encore régulièrement utilisés dans les régimes d’état de droit à travers le monde. En droit anglais et en Common law, l’attainder correspond au pouvoir, moins connu, de condamner par un acte législatif plutôt que par un acte judiciaire. Malgré leurs similitudes structurelles, le pardon et l’attainder ont connu des trajectoires divergentes. L’un est omniprésent, l’autre est éteint. En se concentrant sur les trajectoires divergentes du pardon et de l’attainder au cours de l’élaboration de constitution américaine et par la suite, l’article avance une explication basée sur des asymétries dans les faits relationnels liant le pardon et l’attainder à d’autres constructions morales “épaisses” (thick) qui constituaient le système moral des concepteurs de la constitution et de leurs successeurs. Si ces faits importent par eux-mêmes, c’est à la lumière de la matrice des interprétations morales de cette période fondatrice que les concepteurs en ont saisi puis institutionnalisé la signification.

Zusammenfassung

Begnadigungen stellen eine bewährte Form legaler, außergerichtlicher Machtausübung bezüglich krimineller Klassifizierungen dar. Sie werden weltweit regelmäßig von Rechtsstaaten genutzt. Im englischen Recht und im “common law” entspricht der “attainder” (Verlust der bürgerlichen Ehrenrechte) einer unbekannteren Form einer mehr gesetzgebenden als gerichtlichen Urteilsfindung dar. Trotz ihrer strukturellen Ähnlichkeit haben Begnadigung und “attainder” verschiedene Wege genommen. Die eine ist allgegenwärtig, die andere erloschen. Dieser unterschiedliche Werdegang während der Erarbeitung der amerikanischen Verfassung sowie danach basiert auf der asymmetrischen Verbindung zwischen Begnadigung und “attainder”, die auf jeweils unterschiedlich “dicke” Moralgebäude der Gründungsväter und ihrer Nachfolger zurückzuführen ist. Während diese Tatsache in sich allein schlüssig ist, darf nicht vergessen werden, dass die amerikanischen Gründungsväter die moralischen Interpretationsansätze aus dem Blickwinkel ihrer Zeit begriffen und institutionalisiert haben.

Type
On the Historical Sociology of Morality
Copyright
Copyright © A.E.S. 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Abend, Gabriel, 2008. “Two Main Problems in the Sociology of Morality”, Theory and Society, 37 (2): 87-125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abend, Gabriel, 2010. “What’s New and What’s Old about the New Sociology of Morality”, in Hitlin, S. and Vaisey, S. (eds.), Handbook of the Sociology of Morality, Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research (New York, Springer: 561-584).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abend, Gabriel, 2011. “Thick Concepts and the Moral Brain”, European Journal of Sociology, 52 (1): 143-172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Alexander, Jeffrey C. 2003. “The Strong Program in Cultural Sociology: Elements of a Structural Hermeneutics”, in Alexander, J. C., The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology (New York, Oxford University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Alexander, Jeffrey C. and Smith, Philip, 1993. “The Discourse of American Civil Society: A New Proposal for Cultural Studies”, Theory and Society, 22 (2): 151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barnard, Alex V., 2016. “Making the City ‘Second Nature’: Freegan ‘Dumpster Divers’ and the Materiality of Morality”, American Journal of Sociology, 121 (4): 1017-1050.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berger, Raoul, 1978. “Bills of Attainder: A Study of Amendment by the Court”, Cornell Law Review, 63 (3): 356-404.Google Scholar
Bilder, Mary, 2008. The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
Chafee, Zechariah, 1956. Three Human Rights in the Constitution of 1787 (Lawrence, University of Kansas Press).Google Scholar
Crouch, Jeffrey, 2009. The Presidential Pardon Power (Lawrence, University of Kansas Press).Google Scholar
De Geest, Gerrit and Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe, 2013. “The Rise of Carrots and the Decline of Sticks”, Univchiclawrevi The University of Chicago Law Review, 80 (1): 341-393.Google Scholar
Department of Justice Office of the Pardon Attorney, 2017. “Office of the Pardon Attorney”, retrieved January 20, 2017 (https://www.justice.gov/pardon).Google Scholar
Duker, William F., 1977. “The President’s Power to Pardon: A Constitutional History”, William And Mary Law Review, 18(3): 475-538.Google Scholar
Geertz, Clifford, 1977. “Thick Description: Towards an Interpretive Theory of Culture”, in Geertz, C. The Interpretation Of Cultures (New York, Basic Books).Google Scholar
Geertz, Clifford, 1981. Negara: The Theatre State In Nineteenth-Century Bali (Princeton, Princeton University Press).Google Scholar
Geertz, Clifford, 1983. “Local Knowledge: Fact and Law in Comparative Perspective”, in Geertz, C. Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology (New York, Basic Books).Google Scholar
Hitlin, Steven and Vaisey, Stephen, 2013. “The New Sociology of Morality”, Annual Review of Sociology, 39 (1): 51-68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Klarman, Michael J., 2016. The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution, first edition (New York, Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
Klett, Joseph, 2014. “Sound on Sound: Situating Interaction in Sonic Object Settings”, Sociological Theory, 32 (2): 147-161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kobil, Daniel T., 1990. “Quality of Mercy Strained: Wresting the Pardoning Power from the King”, Texas Law Review, 69: 569-642.Google Scholar
Lamont, Michèle, 1994. Money, Morals, and Manners: The Culture of the French and the American Upper-Middle Class (Chicago, University Of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
Lehmberg, Stanford E., 1975. “Parliamentary Attainder in the Reign of Henry VIII”, The Historical Journal, 18 (4): 675-702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lynch, Jack, 2002. “A Patriot, a Traitor, and a Bill of Attainder”, The Colonial Williamsburg Journal (New York, Spring).Google Scholar
Montesquieu, , 1989. The Spirit of the Laws (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
Nolan, Dennis, 1976. “Sir William Blackstone and the New Republic: A Study of Intellectual Impact”, The Political Science Reviewer, 6: 283-324.Google Scholar
Norton, Matthew, 2014. “Mechanisms and Meaning Structures”, Sociological Theory, 32 (2): 162-187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ostler, Duane, 2014. “Legislative Judging: Bills of Attainder in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States”, Waikato Law Review, 22: 78-86.Google Scholar
Palfreyman, Brett, 2015. “The Loyalists and the Federal Constitution: The Origins of the Bill of Attainder Clause”, Journal of the Early Republic, 35 (3): 451-473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pound, Roscoe, 1914. “Justice according to Law. II”, Columbia Law Review, 14 (1): 1-26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Putnam, Hilary, 2002. The Collapse of the Fact-Value Dichotomy (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
Quinn, Sarah, 2008. “The Transformation of Morals in Markets: Death, Benefits, and the Exchange of Life Insurance Policies”, American Journal of Sociology, 114 (3): 738-780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sayer, Andrew, 2005. The Moral Significance of Class (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schmitt, Carl, 1985. Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (Chicago, University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
Sebba, Leslie, 1977a. “Clemency in Perspective”, in Landau, S. F. and Sebba, L., eds., Criminology in Perspective: Essays in Honor of Israel Drapkin (Lexington, Lexington Books: 221-240).Google Scholar
Sebba, Leslie, 1977b. “The Pardoning Power—A World Survey”, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 68 (1): 83-121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Snee, Joseph M. and Pye, Kenneth A., 1960. “Due Process in Criminal Procedure: A Comparison of Two Systems”, Ohio State Law Journal, 21 (4): 467-502.Google Scholar
Steensland, Brian, 2006. “Cultural Categories and the American Welfare State: The Case of Guaranteed Income Policy”, American Journal of Sociology, 111 (5): 1273-1326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steilen, Matthew J., 2015. “The Josiah Philips Attainder and the Institutional Structure of the American Revolution”, Suny Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-017, Retrieved May 8, 2017 (https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2730084).Google Scholar
Strand, Michael, 2015. “The Genesis and Structure of Moral Universalism: Social Justice in Victorian Britain, 1834-1901”, Theory and Society, 44 (6): 537-573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tavory, Iddo, 2011. “The Question of Moral Action: A Formalist Position”, Sociological Theory, 29 (4): 272-293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilson, Nicholas Hoover, 2011. “From Reflection to Refraction: State Administration in British India, circa 1770-1855”, American Journal of Sociology, 116 (5): 1437-1477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Persistence of Pardons and the End of Attainder
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The Persistence of Pardons and the End of Attainder
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The Persistence of Pardons and the End of Attainder
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *