After granting Alice Marie Johnson clemency, Donald Trump is reportedly considering more pardons. Trump is reportedly in talks of granting a posthumous pardon to renowned boxer Muhammad Ali, who was originally convicted for refusing military service in the Vietnam War of 1967. There’s only one problem with Trump’s decision however: Ali’s conviction was already overturned.
Trump announced the possibility while speaking with news outlets at the White House outside of the Group of Seven summit on June 7, CNN reports. “I’m thinking about Muhammad Ali. I’m thinking about that very seriously and some others,” he said.
In 1966, Ali announced that he would refuse to serve in the army. “War is against the teachings of the Qur’an,” he said at the time. “I’m not trying to dodge the draft. We are not supposed to take part in no wars unless declared by Allah or The Messenger. We don’t take part in Christian wars or wars of any unbelievers.”
He continued: “Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”
Ali was later antagonized by the public for his resistance to join the draft. The late athlete was reportedly arrested in 1967, after refusing to step forward when his name was inducted into the U.S. Armed Forces. His boxing license was later suspended and his championship title was stripped. He was found guilty of a felony charge in June 1967.
Nearly one year later, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the ruling in Clay v. United States by a unanimous 8-0 decision. Maybe Trump was unaware of the Supreme Court’s decision, or maybe he didn’t care. His statements seem to give some validity to claims that the president is trying to appeal to the African-American demographic.
Nevertheless, Trump has announced that he is also considering pardons for 3,000 other cases including Martha Stewart, according CNN. Trump recently commuted Alice Marie Johnson’s sentence after meeting with Kim Kardashian.