What Is a Self-Pardon?

Artist's impression of Donald Trump

The presidential pardon power is an interesting perk of being the leader of the United States. It can be used for good or ill, helping those unjustly dealing with legal matters, or a get out of jail free card for close associates. Presidents have the obligation not to abuse this power, which is why the possibility of a self-pardon is so complex. What is a self-pardon, can a president really excuse themselves of crimes, and has any ever tried?

What Does Militia Mean?

Minuteman statue

When you think of the word militia, different feelings and definitions may come to mind depending on your knowledge of history and political leanings. To some, the militia is a positive force on hand to aid the nation in times of conflict. To others, the militia is a group of domestic terrorists with a political agenda. So what does militia mean, and are both of these definitions accurate?

What Is the Judicial Branch?

Judge's hammer and gavel

The government system in the United States sees elected Legislative Branch officials in the houses of Congress create bills and debate issues. In contrast, the elected president in the Executive Branch works with his administration in the White House. However, there is a set of unelected officials in a third branch of the federal government. What is the Judicial Branch, and what is its relationship with Congress and the President of the United States?

What Is the Executive Branch?

Donald J Trump cartoon

The United States Government is a complex system with various elected officials working across different buildings and branches. The Executive Branch sounds like it should be the most important, or at least the most powerful. What is the Executive Branch of the government, who is in charge, and just how much power does it have?

What Does Ratification Mean?

United States Congress

When learning about the history of the United States Constitution and its later amendments, we frequently see the term ratification. For these important proposals to become legal, they needed to be ratified. What does this mean, what are the requirements for ratification, and how does this relate to the Constitution and its amendment?

Important US Constitution Events

us constitution events

May 25, 1787: The Constitutional Convention opens with a quorum of seven states in Philadelphia to discuss revising the Articles of Confederation. Eventually, all states but Rhode Island are represented. Sept. 17, 1787: All 12 state delegations approve the Constitution, 39 delegates sign it of the 42 present, and the Convention formally adjourns. June 21, […]