Pardon power is one of the few constitutional powers that the president wields unilaterally (Crouch, 2009). The president can issue a variety of pardons with no check provided by the House or Senate, but the president is constrained by public opinion that is often critical of pardons that violate basic principles of fairness and justice and seem to be self-interestedly motivated (Crouch, 2009; Fisher, 2002). Interest groups, particularly those focused on issues of criminal justice, may be especially attuned to opportunities to gain or oppose pardons for individuals associated with their interests, yet these groups are also aware of negative public reaction. For this reason, many pardon requests and pardon approvals are held to the fi nal year-and sometimes the fi nal days-in offi ce, when no concerns about re-election prevail (Erler, 2007). A president who issues a controversial pardon at the end of time in offi ce escapes the immediate political costs in an election and eludes the loss of public support for policy objectives. With this well known, the presidential transition out of offi ce is also a period of intense lobbying and interest group activity.