Thursday, May 26, 2011

McCain, King Resolution to Pardon Jack Johnson

Sen. John McCain and Rep. Peter King again are pushing a congressional resolution urging a presidential pardon for Jack Johnson, who became the world's first black heavyweight champion a century ago.

"A full pardon would not only shed light on the achievements of an athlete who was forced into the shadows of bigotry and prejudice, but also allow future generations to grasp fully what Jack Johnson accomplished against great odds." The original resolution overwhelmingly passed Congress in 2009. McCain and King have introduced virtually the same resolution in Congress to pardon Johnson since 2004.

President Barack Obama refused to act on the call for a pardon in the last congressional session, even after the resolution passed both houses of Congress. The Justice Department told the lawmakers that such requests are best used for the living.
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