Fratto argued that the process is not in need of repair, as evidenced by the many pardons that have been issued without controversy. He said because the president has the sole constitutional authority to grant a pardon, applicants should feel free to apply directly to the president and bypass the Justice Department.
"You do not want a situation where people feel they cannot approach the White House to petition for clemency when that power solely rests with the president," Fratto said.
Toussie's lawyers declined to comment on whether their client will attempt to challenge Bush's reversal of the pardon.
But Kalt said the administration's legal justification of revoking the pardon because Toussie did not receive an official warrant could be successfully challenged.
"If I were Toussie," Kalt said. "I would fight this."
"I can't see what more could be required than the president signing a document pardoning you, executing that document and informing you that you had been pardoned," he said.
Attention on pardons and commutations of prison sentences will only increase in the weeks to come. Several high-profile individuals, including former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, former Rep. Randy "Duke Cunningham and junk bond king Michael Milken, have petitions in front of the Bush administration.
And on Jan. 15, Eric Holder, President-elect Obama's nominee for attorney general will be grilled at his confirmation hearing for his role in the Rich pardon when he served as Clinton's deputy attorney general.