May 24, 2018

IT SHOULDN’T HAVE TAKEN A CENTURY FOR A PRESIDENT TO DO THIS, BUT GOOD FOR HIM. ALSO, THE MANN ACT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Jack Johnson, Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Pardoned by Trump.

President Trump on Thursday pardoned Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, who was convicted in 1913 of transporting a white woman across state lines.

Mr. Trump signed the pardon for Johnson during an Oval Office ceremony, sitting at the Resolute Desk and flanked by Sylvester Stallone, Lennox Lewis and other fighters.

The president called Johnson “a truly great fighter, had a tough life,” but served 10 months in federal prison “for what many view as a racially-motivated injustice.” Mr. Trump said the conviction took place during a “period of tremendous racial tension in the United States.”

Decades after Johnson was convicted under the Mann Act, his case drew significant attention as a gross miscarriage of justice and a symbol of the depths of racism in the American justice system. . . .

The president noted that bipartisan requests for the pardon for Johnson had been made for years, but that despite that, no previous president had been willing to sign one. He noted — with a glancing reference to former President Barack Obama — that the last resolution in Congress calling for the pardon was in 2015.

Indeed.

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