term paper - SUMMARY: . July 24, 1994, will mark the...

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SUMMARY: ... July 24, 1994, will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Nixon. This important case resulted not only in this country's first (and only) resignation of a sitting President, but also provided a formal recognition by the United States Supreme Court of Executive Privilege as a constitutionally based doctrine. . .. This was the beginning of the mechanism under Executive Privilege that allows the Judiciary to order an in camera inspection. . .. The Supreme Court held that while "judicial control over the evidence in a case cannot be abdicated to the caprice of Executive officers," in camera inspection is waived where the court is satisfied there is a "reasonable danger" that matters in the interest of "national security" will be exposed. . .. This is the modern roots of the national security branch of Executive Privilege. . .. These materials, in some cases, could have been subject to claims of either the State Secrets Doctrine or the national security prong of Executive Privilege. . .. The other Iran-Contra litigation in which Executive Privilege played a clear role was that of National Security Advisor, John Poindexter. . .. In camera inspection schemes are probably the most practical and rational method to address the majority of the problems found with Executive Privilege. . .. This combined with the in camera inspection should help to counter the tremendous power and potential for abuse that the Executive Branch holds with the privilege. . .. TEXT: [*252] Introduction July 24, 1994, will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Nixon. n1 This important case resulted not only in this country's first (and only) resignation of a sitting President, but also provided a formal recognition by the United States Supreme Court of Executive Privilege as a constitutionally based doctrine. n2 The Court's recognition of what amounts to an absolute privilege where foreign affairs and national security are concerned, has the potential of allowing the Executive Branch to act with impunity. The Court's more limited recognition of a presumption of privilege in Executive Branch communications on all other matters, while providing President Nixon little comfort, has the potential to afford another President with what amounts to control over his own prosecution. Twenty years is an appropriate length of time from which to begin assessing the actual consequences of United States v. Nixon, the potential problems, and the possible solutions emanating from the case. The following piece provides such an analysis by placing United States v. Nixon in context. This is accomplished through an examination of the early roots of Executive Privilege, as well as the events surrounding the Nixon case. To assess the impact of United States v. Nixon upon the doctrine of Executive Privilege, pertinent events in the subsequent administrations are discussed.
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course PLS 201 taught by Professor Markwilliam during the Spring '08 term at Cal Poly Pomona.

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term paper - SUMMARY: . July 24, 1994, will mark the...

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