Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1
Luther Martin, Genuine Information1788Storing 2.4.85
Objections were made to that part of this article, by which the President is appointed commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States, and it was wished to be so far restrained, that he should not command in person; but this could not be obtained. The power given to the President of granting reprieves and pardons, was also thought extremely dangerous, and as such opposed--The President thereby has the power of pardoning those who are guilty of treason, as well as of other offences; it was said that no treason was so likely to take place as that in which the President himself might be engaged--The attempt to assume to himself powers not given by the constitution, and establish himself in regal authority; in which attempt a provision is made for him to secure from punishment the creatures of his ambition, the associates and abettors of his treasonable practices, by granting them pardons should they be defeated in their attempts to subvert the constitution.
Storing, Herbert J., ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago