President Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio of any other offenses under Chapter 21 of Title 18, United States Code that might arise, or be charged. This question asks about overruling a pardon and it seems things are messy since the President potentially has unchecked power. My question is after President Trump leaves office, can a new president overrule the pardon?

My understanding is if the pardon is issued during a the trial the trial would be halted. If the pardon was later overruled the individual would need to be tried again, but double jeopardy would probably get in the way. This might also extend to if the pardon is issued after the charges were filed but prior to the trial. Double jeopardy may also prevent overruling a pardon after a conviction since it would require a new conviction to punish the individual.

In the case of pardoning an individual prior to charges being filed (and possibly prior to the crimes being committed) can a later president overrule the earlier president and hence allow a trial to take place?

1 Answer 1


The US Constitution Article II, Section 2 grants sayt that the President "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment". It does not anywhere say that a pardon can be rescinded. Until a constitutional amendment is added giving the president the power to rescind a pardon (zero chance of that happening), a pardon is permanent.

For reference, Ex Parte Grossman, 267 U.S. 87 addresses the question of limiting the presidential pardon power, where the losing side argued that criminal contempt is not an "offense against the United States", and the Supreme Court held that criminal contempt is such an offense. Nothing has legally changed since then.

  • 1
    For that matter, even if there was a constitutional amendment, pardons issued before the constitution was amended would be permanent.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 16:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .