U.S. Const. art. II, § 2, provides that the President shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment. There is only this limitation to the operation of a pardon: it does not restore offices forfeited, or property or interests vested in others in consequence of the conviction and judgment.
Petitioner produced a pardon from the President of the United States for all offenses committed by his participation in the Confederate government and asked permission to continue to practice as an attorney of the U.S. Supreme Court without taking the oath required by the Act of January 24, 1865 (Act), which oath he was unable to take by reason of the offices he held under the Confederate government. Petitioner claimed that the Act, so far as it affected his status in the Court was unconstitutional and void. Petitioner also claimed that if the Act were constitutional, he was released from compliance with its provisions by the President's pardon. The Court granted petitioner's prayer.
Was the pardon produced by petitioner a full pardon for all offenses committed?
U.S. Const. art. II, § 2, provides that the President shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment. The United States Supreme Court found that the pardon produced by petitioner was a full pardon for all offenses committed. The Court held that the effect of this pardon was to relieve the petitioner from all penalties attached to the offense of treason. It was not within the constitutional power of Congress to inflict punishment beyond the reach of executive clemency. Further, the amendment requiring the oath prescribed by the Act to be taken by attorneys had to be rescinded.