Belatedly & Oblique
By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.
Regardless of any person’s political persuasion, all would consider the Federal pardon granted by President Trump to Susan B. Anthony to be justice served although belatedly. While I too see it that way I also see it as justice served obliquely. After having been convicted in Federal Court, for violating the election laws of the State of New York, Susan B. Anthony never paid her fine nor served time in jail. She did not have her wages garnished nor her property sold at auction for the proceeds to pay her fine. I also find it curious that she was not prosecuted by the State of New York for violating State Law, as she undoubtedly would be according to a recent Supreme Court ruling indicating that the Constitution had “split the atom of sovereignty.” However, the pertinent issue at hand is that the failure to uphold sentence against Ms. Anthony demonstrates for us that her trial was an excellent example of Ad Hoc Morality. The Federal pardon granted for her conviction serves justice not only for the recognition that her cause was just and unfortunately ahead of its time. It also serves justice in the oblique manner that it removes the stigma of Ad Hoc Morality for this instance of Rule of Law procedures. While the pardon may serve to assuage discontent some may still harbor against the State of New York, and the United States, for how they treated Ms. Anthony and her compatriots it more importantly corrects our failure to maintain the fundamental premise of the Rule of Law that Justice is Blind.
After seeing the reaction of many Americans to the news of this pardon I added this paragraph:
It is not necessarily for her benefit that Susan B. Anthony is to be pardoned. Her objective has been achieved and she is dead. American Society is so polarized that opponents cannot see any good in what their adversaries do. There can be no better instance for the use of the Presidential Pardon than to use it to correct a flaw created through the legislative process. Human beings are known to make mistakes. Their creation, the Rule of Law, is not perfect. When its implementation yields faulty results human beings resort to remedies to correct the errors. The Presidential Pardon is one such remedy. Revolution is another. All Americans should welcome a Presidential Pardon of Susan B. Anthony, not for her sake, but for its confirmation of validity for our system of justice. Mortally wounded is any such society so vitriolic that it cannot recognize this.