WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

But the effort faces odds as long as an underdog fighter.

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.

Johnson was imprisoned because of his romantic ties with a white woman in a case that critics call a stain on the U.S. McCain, an Arizona Republican, and King, a New York Republican, were introducing the resolution Tuesday.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the text.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  1. Larry B. says:

    What about Hurricane Ruben Carter????? He should have been pardoned long ago!

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