You are on page 1of 9

RES:16NEG

Presidents have more leeway to grant pardons than governors have.


The authors of the United States Constitutions gave the President a broad power to pardon criminals. The President can "grant pardons and reprieves for offences [sic] against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." In practice, this power, as interpreted by Presidents and courts, includes a near-absolute power to forgive past crimes, lighten the severity of criminal sentences, grant amnesties to whole classes of offenders, and place conditions on the issuance of any pardon. Using their power, Presidents issued, between 1900 and 1993, over 200 pardons or other forms of clemency per year. Although Presidents can pretty much pardon whoever they want, whenever they want, most states, in giving a pardoning power to their governors, limit the governors' power more than the power of the President is limited. Here are some examples. For example, many state constitutions provide that only the legislature, not the Governor, can grant clemency to traitors. This is presumable based on the fear that rebels against the government might obtain improper political influence and manage to help their comrades escape deserved punishment. The President of the United States can pardon traitors without limitation, and Presidents do not appear to have abused this power. Presidents have pardoned rebels as a condition of laying down their arms, and they have pardoned rebels out of humanitarian concerns about hanging misguided people. Presidents Lincoln and Johnson pardoned former Confederates, provoking criticism from vengeful Northerners in the wake of the civil war, although the consensus today is that clemency was appropriate. President Ford pardoned a Japanese-American woman who had been convicted of treason for making broadcasts for the Japanese government during World War II. This pardon was justifiable also, since the woman had apparently been railroad into a conviction. One requirement contained in many state constitutions is that, before you can get executive clemency, you have to ask for it. This makes sense-you can't get a drivers license, a fishing license, or other types of permits without first making a formal request. Similarly, a request from the individual in question must precede a pardon in most states. In contrast, the President can just reach out and pardon someone whenever he feels like it, without the previous knowledge of the person he pardoned. A person who receives a pardon from the President has the legal right to refuse to accept the pardon, but a criminal serving a federal sentence may be forced to accept a Presidential shortening of his sentence. There is another feature in many state constitutions which is relevant to U. S. Presidents. A common feature in state constitutions is the requirement that clemency be granted after conviction. This means that governors considering clemency applications have the benefit of a court record generated during the trial of the accused. This court record will often flesh out the facts and circumstances of the crime, as well as the factors which argue for and against a severe sentence. The existence of such a record is usually a great help when it comes to considering clemency. The President of the United States doesn't have to wait for a conviction. Most famously, President Gerald Ford gave a blanket pardon to former President Richard Nixon for any crime which 'Tricky Dick' may have committed while in office. &&&&&&

The President, unlike most governors, can grant amnesties. For example Presidents can pardon rebels and former rebels. Presidents have also granted amnesties to large groups of people who have violated the law, and whose prosecution would be against the public interest. President Carter's amnesty of Vietnam-era draft offenders in 1977 is an example. Many state constitutions require clemency requests to be screened by some kind of clemency board. In some cases, the governor himself is a member of a clemency board, along with other

state officials. In Massachusetts, an elected governor's council advises the governor on pardons. In Texas, a Board has veto power over executive clemency on the part of governors, such as current President and former Texas governor George W. Bush. In California, the governor can't give clemency to recidivist felons without the approval of a majority of the state Supreme Court. The ability of boards and courts to veto acts of executive clemency in certain states gives governors an excellent opportunity to pass the buck. In some states, however, the clemency board has a merely advisory function, and cannot veto a pardon. However, even where pardon boards serve only advisory functions, the petitioner for a pardon generally has to have a hearing before the board before the governor can act on the clemency petition. Clemency boards are frequently required to hold public hearings before making recommendations. Hearings allow the petitioner, and his alleged victim(s), to present in a public forum their opinions on the clemency request. This helps promote the idea of "government in the sunshine," and gives an opportunity for clemency-related issues to be aired in public, rather than simply in the privacy of the governor's office. In contrast, the President of the United States is not burdened by a clemency board. The President can get advice from the Pardon Attorney's office in the Justice Department, but he can also bypass or ignore the Pardon Attorney. The fact that there is no formal committee or court that gives public hearings in clemency cases could potentially lead to abuse, which is what some people claim has happened in President Clinton's last-minute acts of clemency. Another feature of many state constitutions is that the governor is required to make a report to the legislature whenever he exercises executive clemency. In some states, this means that the governor must also give a written explanation of the reasons for each act of clemency. The President of the United States, in contrast, doesn't have to give explanations to the public for his clemency decisions, but sometimes he will try and justify his actions to the public, especially if the press gets on his case about a particularly controversial act of clemency. For example, President Ford defended his pardon of Richard Nixon in his memoirs. Former President Clinton defended his pardon of Mr. Rich, the fugitive financier, in a guest editorial for the *New York Times.* These explanations, however, were completely optional on the part of Ford and Clinton. They could have remained perfectly silent about their controversial acts of clemency. The President's pardoning power is based on the power of the monarchs of England, who could grant clemency as part of their sovereign prerogative. The power of the state governors, in contrast, is based on state constitutions which manifest a certain mistrust of absolute executive power. Governors, therefore, are under more restraints than Presidents when it comes to excusing alleged criminals from the legal consequences of their deeds. Lets see the truth in today shall we fellow student congress members? Our system of judicial and prosecution are doing the best they can to get criminals out of our society and into prisons where they belong. We have a strong law system correct, in short yes, we do. The criminals that are being pardoned for their sentence, are getting a luxury they should not have been granted, when so many other people who could have done less worse crimes still rot in prison, and to suggest this, is to acknowledge that we are, excuse me the president and states are playing favorites with murders or child molesters, drug lords, and other sick criminals, we have to see that this has to stop, because it isnt whats just, if we give a criminal these rights back, they violated the social contract, and now they dont get recognition of natural rights. These are the reasons Im urging for a vote in Negation. Thank You. ______________________________________________________________________________

RES:16AFF
Pardons
Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution gives the president "power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." A reprieve is temporary relief from punishment for a crime. Reprieves give convicted criminals time to ask a court to change their punishment. A pardon is complete forgiveness for a crime. A pardon eliminates all punishment that a person might suffer if convicted of a crime. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention had different feelings about the pardon power. Some feared presidents would use the power to pardon their friends, or even to pardon people who helped them commit a crime. Others, including Alexander Hamilton, argued that presidents needed the pardon power to help end rebellions against the government. The delegates compromised by giving the president power to grant pardons except in cases of impeachment. Under the Constitution, the president and all other federal officers can be impeached and removed from office for committing treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. The Constitution defines treason as levying war against the United States or giving aid and comfort to its enemies. Bribery means giving something of value to influence official government action. The phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" is completely undefined. The president cannot pardon himself or anyone else to avoid an impeachment. So lets take a step back, the leaders who made the constitution arent idiot, and they knew what they were doing, So, in a reiterated version what we have to see here is that Presidential and State pardons are allowed by our constitution, and I dont see how its injustice if a prisoner is released, after all we did elect him/her to lead, and so in this we see we must put trust in our leaders. And lets face it, a president isnt going to allow a cold blooded killer back into society without just cause, most likely that person being released wasnt actually guilty. I urge for a vote in affirmation.

DEFINITION
The president gets a lot of perks in the United States. The president gets to live in the White House, fly around in Air Force One, and has a giant gingerbread house made for him every year, among other things. He also gets to make a lot of fairly important decisions, and pass laws with the approval of the House and Senate. One other thing that the president gets to do is issue something called a Presidential Pardon. This is something that the President of the United States has the opportunity to do, and is also a duty offered to Presidents and/or rulers of many other countries as well. When we combine the definition of president with the definition of pardon, we get the definition of presidential pardon: The President gets to "forgive" people from their crimes, or let them escape the rest of their criminal sentences. In other words, the president can let criminals out of jail and release criminals from their judicial sentences. To be exact, in the United States, the President has the ability to pardon people only for federal crimes. This means that if someone is found guilty of breaking a federal law- like securities law or tax law- the president can pardon that person. If someone broke a state law, on the other hand, only the governor can pardon the criminal.

AFF: R017
The electoral college system should no longer utilize the winner-take-all method, and should instead allocate electoral votes proportionally matching the percent of the vote

achieved within that state, we must see that all other components of the electoral college will remain the same, so no harm would come of this change. Therefore, giving third party members a chance to even be elected. Also for good measure the Congress shall have power to enforce this article with appropriate legislation. We have to see that our whole system is run by the people, and if we deem it fit to change something we should have the right to do so, especially if a majority of American favor changing the electoral college system, we are a government run by the people, and if we deem this change fit its going to happen. Basically if you lose in the electoral college system when it comes to voting, your voice, and your vote, arent going to be heard because the person you didnt vote for isnt going to have your same view obviously. If we are a system in which every voice counts then this negligent system isnt going to work. I urge affirmation cast as your vote. ________________________________________________________________________

RES:17NEG
Arguments for the Electoral College
Proponents of the Electoral College system normally defend it on the philosophical grounds that

it: contributes to the cohesiveness of the country by requiring a distribution of popular support to be elected president enhances the status of minority interests, contributes to the political stability of the nation by encouraging a two-party system, and maintains a federal system of government and representation. Recognizing the strong regional interests and loyalties which have played so great a role in American history, proponents argue that the Electoral College system contributes to the cohesiveness of the country be requiring a distribution of popular support to be elected president, without such a mechanism, they point out, president would be selected either through the domination of one populous region over the others or through the domination of large metropolitan areas over the rural ones. Indeed, it is principally because of the Electoral College that presidential nominees are inclined to select vice presidential running mates from a region other than their own. For as things stand now, no one region contains the absolute majority (270) of electoral votes required to elect a president. Thus, there is an incentive for presidential candidates to pull together coalitions of States and regions rather than to exacerbate regional differences. Such a unifying mechanism seems especially prudent in view of the severe regional problems that have typically plagued geographically large nations such as China, India, the Soviet Union, and even, in its time, the Roman Empire. This unifying mechanism does not, however, come without a small price. And the price is that in very close popular elections, it is possible that the candidate who wins a slight majority of popular votes may not be the one elected president - depending (as in 1888) on whether his popularity is concentrated in a few States or whether it is more evenly distributed across the States. Yet this is less of a problem than it seems since, as a practical matter, the popular difference between the two candidates would likely be so small that either candidate could govern effectively. Proponents thus believe that the practical value of requiring a distribution of popular support outweighs whatever sentimental value may attach to obtaining a bare majority of popular support. Indeed, they point out that the Electoral College system is designed to work in a rational series of defaults: if, in the first instance, a candidate receives a substantial majority of the popular vote, then that candidate is virtually certain to win enough electoral votes to be elected president; in the event that the popular vote is extremely close, then the election defaults to that candidate with the best distribution of popular votes (as evidenced by obtaining the absolute majority of electoral votes); in the event the country is so divided that no one obtains an absolute majority of electoral votes, then the choice of president defaults to the States in the U.S. House of Representatives. One way or another, then, the winning candidate must demonstrate both a sufficient popular support to govern as well as a sufficient distribution of that support to govern. Proponents also point out that, far from diminishing minority interests by depressing voter participation, the Electoral College actually enhances the status of minority groups. This is so because the voters of even small minorities in a State may make the difference between winning all of that State's electoral votes or none of that State's electoral votes. And since ethnic minority groups in the United States happen to concentrate in those State with the most electoral votes, they assume an importance to presidential candidates well out of proportion to their number. The same principle applies to other special interest groups such as labor unions, farmers, environmentalists, and so forth. It is because of this "leverage effect" that the presidency, as an institution, tends to be more sensitive to ethnic minority and other special interest groups than does the Congress as an

institution. Changing to a direct election of the president would therefore actually damage minority interests since their votes would be overwhelmed by a national popular majority. Proponents further argue that the Electoral College contributes to the political stability of the nation by encouraging a two party system. There can be no doubt that the Electoral College has encouraged and helps to maintain a two party system in the United States. This is true simply because it is extremely difficult for a new or minor party to win enough popular votes in enough States to have a chance of winning the presidency. Even if they won enough electoral votes to force the decision into the U.S. House of Representatives, they would still have to have a majority of over half the State delegations in order to elect their candidate - and in that case, they would hardly be considered a minor party. In addition to protecting the presidency from impassioned but transitory third party movements, the practical effect of the Electoral College (along with the single-member district system of representation in the Congress) is to virtually force third party movements into one of the two major political parties. Conversely, the major parties have every incentive to absorb minor party movements in their continual attempt to win popular majorities in the States. In this process of assimilation, third party movements are obliged to compromise their more radical views if they hope to attain any of their more generally acceptable objectives. Thus we end up with two large, pragmatic political parties which tend to the center of public opinion rather than dozens of smaller political parties catering to divergent and sometimes extremist views. In other words, such a system forces political coalitions to occur within the political parties rather than within the government. A direct popular election of the president would likely have the opposite effect. For in a direct popular election, there would be every incentive for a multitude of minor parties to form in an attempt to prevent whatever popular majority might be necessary to elect a president. The surviving candidates would thus be drawn to the regionalist or extremist views represented by these parties in hopes of winning the run-off election. The result of a direct popular election for president, then, would likely be frayed and unstable political system characterized by a multitude of political parties and by more radical changes in policies from one administration to the next. The Electoral College system, in contrast, encourages political parties to coalesce divergent interests into two sets of coherent alternatives. Such an organization of social conflict and political debate contributes to the political stability of the nation. Finally, its proponents argue quite correctly that the Electoral College maintains a federal system of government and representation. Their reasoning is that in a formal federal structure, important political powers are reserved to the component States. In the United States, for example, the House of Representatives was designed to represent the States according to the size of their population. The States are even responsible for drawing the district lines for their House seats. The Senate was designed to represent each State equally regardless of its population. And the Electoral College was designed to represent each State's choice for the presidency (with the number of each State's electoral votes being the number of its Senators plus the number of its Representatives). To abolish the Electoral College in favor of a nationwide popular election for president would strike at the very heart of the federal structure laid out in our Constitution and would lead to the nationalization of our central government - to the detriment of the States. Indeed, if we become obsessed with government by popular majority as the only consideration, should we not then abolish the Senate which represents States regardless of population? Should we not correct the minor distortions in the House (caused by districting and by guaranteeing each

State at least one Representative) by changing it to a system of proportional representation? This would accomplish "government by popular majority" and guarantee the representation of minority parties, but it would also demolish our federal system of government. If there are reasons to maintain State representation in the Senate and House as they exist today, then surely these same reasons apply to the choice of president. Why, then, apply a sentimental attachment to popular majorities only to the Electoral College? The fact is, they argue, that the original design of our federal system of government was thoroughly and wisely debated by the Founding Fathers. State viewpoints, they decided, are more important than political minority viewpoints. And the collective opinion of the individual State populations is more important than the opinion of the national population taken as a whole. Nor should we tamper with the careful balance of power between the national and State governments which the Founding Fathers intended and which is reflected in the Electoral college. To do so would fundamentally alter the nature of our government and might well bring about consequences that even the reformers would come to regret.

Conclusion
The Electoral College has performed its function for over 200 years (and in over 50 presidential elections) by ensuring that the President of the United States has both sufficient popular support to govern and that his popular support is sufficiently distributed throughout the country to enable him to govern effectively. Although there were a few anomalies in its early history, none have occurred in the past century. Proposals to abolish the Electoral College, though frequently put forward, have failed largely because the alternatives to it appear more problematic than is the College itself. The fact that the Electoral College was originally designed to solve one set of problems but today serves to solve an entirely different set of problems is a tribute to the genius of the Founding Fathers. Id just like to conclude with one thing, why fix whats not broken, its been working for 200 years and I dont see any other system that could work better.

RES:5NEG
The Curbside Recycling Program would not be beneficial in most cities, because lets consider this program, and the money that would be wasted on people either not using it at all, or using it incorrectly. By incorrectly I mean, suppose you are recycling plastic, and you just put it in the bin right, well your wrong because this can actually hurt the environment, the reason being that you cant just stick plastic in recycling bin with the same corresponding number, or else you have to drive to another town to recycle that

bit of plastic, when you just wasted a half tank of gas to get the deed done. So instead of saving the environment by recycling the bags, you r burning precious gas, and with the rise of the price of gas, we cant afford this. Recycling doesnt need to be from door to door, you could have a bin at your local store, rather than waste money on something that wouldnt be used, used incorrectly, and costs a lot of money, when theres an easy simpler alternative. This is why you should vote NEG. _____________________________________________________________________________________