Everyone knows that the presidency has plenary authority under the Constitution to issue pardons and commutations. Given that, it also follows that the presidency has the plenary authority to reject clemency applications. But does a president have the plenary authority to ignore such applications — and can a president delegate that screening task to others in the executive branch?
The answers seems rather obviously to be yes, but Joe Exotic has a lot of time on his hands … twenty-two years of it, in fact. That sentence for the Tiger King’s plot to kill rival and critic Carole Baskin is precisely why he wants a pardon. And Maldonado-Passage has filed suit to force the Office of Pardons to pass his application to Donald Trump:
“Tiger King” star Joe Exotic is suing the US Justice Department over the Trump administration’s rejection of his official pardon request, according to a report.
Exotic — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — argues that the denial is not valid because the request was not presented directly to President Trump himself.
The suit names Acting Pardon Attorney Rosalind Sargent-Burns, according to a six-page complaint filed by Exotic’s lawyers and obtained by Courthouse News.
The big-cat aficionado first submitted a pardon application on Sept. 8 — and the Office of the Pardon Attorney emailed a response two days later denying the application.