The one word that bars Trump from pardoning himself

But how is one to determine this “original public meaning”? One place to begin is a law dictionary in use at the time, such as The Law-Dictionary: Explaining the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the English Law; Defining and Interpreting the Terms or Words of Art; and Comprising Copious Information on the Subjects of Law, Trade, and Government, compiled by Giles Jacob, and the most popular legal dictionary of the era. According to Jacob’s tome, a grant—which he defined only as a noun—is a “conveyance in writing of incorporeal things.” And what, in turn, is a conveyance? It is “a deed which passes or conveys land from one man to another.”

Note: “from one man to another.”

Thus, to the extent that the most popular contemporaneous law dictionary is valuable in understanding what ordinary speakers of the founding era meant by “granting,” it seems clear that they probably had in mind an interpersonal transfer.