Govs have lost some past constitutional battles

JACKSON — One of the arguments former Gov. Haley Barbour is using to oppose the lawsuit Attorney General Jim Hood filed to block the nearly 200 pardons he granted in his final hours in office is that the Constitution gives him that authority and another branch of government cannot second guess it.

The Constitution says an applicant cannot receive a commutation until the convicted felon advertises for 30 days in a newspaper his petition for a pardon.

Hood argues most — not all — of the people receiving the pardons did not meet that constitutional mandate. Barbour say the state Constitution gives the governor the authority to issue the pardons and no other government entity can reverse that decision.

I do not know how this case will turn out. But the Constitution also gives the governor the authority to line item veto appropriations bills. On several occasions, the courts have ruled those vetoes invalid, saying the governor misused his line item veto authority.