August 12, 2022

Volume XII, Number 224

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Is Impeachment A Pardonable Offense?

Monday's post concerned California's constitutional and statutory provisions governing impeachment.  These provisions are based on the English parliamentary model developed in the 14th century.  In 1678, the Commons impeached Thomas Osborne, the Earl of Danby, despite a royal pardon.  The Commons' action was eventually enshrined in statute: "no Pardon under the Great Seal of England be pleadable to an Impeachment by the Commons in Parliament".  Act of Settlement (1700), Section III.  The California Constitution includes a similar limitation on the power of the Governor to pardon impeachments:

"Subject to application procedures provided by statute, the Governor, on conditions the Governor deems proper, may grant a reprieve, pardon, and commutation, after sentence, except in case of impeachment."

Cal. Const. Art. V, § 8(a).

Thomas Osborne was confined to the Tower of London but was later released.  On June 30, 1688, he became one of the so-called "Immortal Seven" who invited William of Orange and Mary II to depose James II in the "Glorious revolution".  

© 2010-2022 Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 360
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About this Author

Keith Paul Bishop, Corporate Transactions Lawyer, finance securities attorney, Allen Matkins Law Firm
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Keith Bishop works with privately held and publicly traded companies on federal and state corporate and securities transactions, compliance, and governance matters. He is highly-regarded for his in-depth knowledge of the distinctive corporate and regulatory requirements faced by corporations in the state of California.

While many law firms have a great deal of expertise in federal or Delaware corporate law, Keith’s specific focus on California corporate and securities law is uncommon. A former California state regulator of securities and financial institutions, Keith has decades of...

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