Pre-Emptive Pardons

By Patrick Appel
Jacob Leibenluft looks at the extent of Bush's pardoning powers:

If someone hasn't yet been charged with a crime, how does the president know what to pardon them for? As in Nixon's case, President Bush could issue a pardon that applies generally to any crimes that may have been committed within a certain range of dates. More likely, a pardon could apply only to actions surrounding a single policy or placesay, the detention or interrogation of suspected al-Qaida members.