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United States v. Nixon

Supreme Court Case for Government Class 2013

Katie Brown

on 16 April 2013

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Transcript of United States v. Nixon

(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr (cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr United States v. Nixon (1973) People Involved Sequence of Events Facts of the Case
Is the President's right to safeguard certain information, using his "executive privilege" confidentiality power, entirely immune from judicial review?
No. The Court granted that there was a limited executive privilege in areas of military or diplomatic affairs, but gave preference to "the fundamental demands of due process of law in the fair administration of justice." Constitutional Facts Court
Rulings Katie Brown
American Government 1. Alexander Butterfield revealed that Nixon had installed a taping system and had recordings 2. Archibald Cox demanded that Nixon hand over the tapes. Nixon refused.

3. Nixon offered a compromise but Cox refused. Watergate Hotel: Democratic National Committee HQ Initial Scandal 1972 Presidential campaign (Dem. McGovern v Rep. Richard Nixon)
Members of CRP hire spies to wiretap telephones of DNC Chairman & Exec. Director of Democratic States (Lawrence O'Brien & Spencer Oliver Jr.)
Security guard discoveres the 5 spies
Nixon states: "No one in this Administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident" AfterMath Members of CRP & "Plumbers" linkable to burglars
Money trail leading to Nixon
More media investigation
Meanwhile Nixon re-elected in 1972 election by a landslide (520-17)
As scandal unravels Nixon demands resignations of aids ("Watergate seven")
Nixon refuses to release taped oval office conversations claiming executive privilege (Article II section 1) Virgilio González Bernard Barker James McCord Eugenio Martínez Frank Sturgis the discretionary right claimed by certain U.S. presidents to withhold information from Congress or the judiciary. Executive Privilege Plaintiff United States Defendant Richard Nixon VS Important Facts Prosecutor(s) sought audio tapes recorded by Nixon.

Nixon asserted "executive privilege." 7. Case moved it to the Supreme Court.

8. Chief Justice Warren Burger announced that Nixon needed to hand over the tapes.

9. Nixon finally gave in and submitted the tapes to court.

10. Nixon became the first president to resign.

11. Tapes showed Nixon had been part of the cover-up 4. "Saturday Night Massacre"
Saturday, October 23, 1973.

5. Leon Jaworaski worked just as hard to obtain the tapes.

6. Jaworaski accepted edited tapes that contained a 18 minute gap. Unimportant Facts The break-in/Watergate Scandal

"Saturday Night Massacre"

Nixon offered edited versions of the tapes

The president had installed a taping system in the oval office Case Issue: Answer to the Issue: Lower Courts Jaworski -> District of Columbia District Court Obtained a subpeona from Judge John Sirica ordering Nixon to release tapes and documents associated with Water gate investigation Supreme Court Court unanimously rules 8-0 against Nixon
William Rehnquist (Nixon appointee) excuses himself
Court refuses Nixon's claim to "Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process"
Held that the president may not use executive privilege to withhold evidence relevant to criminal trials
Important precedent significantly limiting presidential power
Nixon ordered to release withheld tapes Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Against Associate Justice William O. Douglas Against Associate Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Against Associate Justice Potter Stewart Against Associate Justice Byron White Against Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall Against Associate Justice Harry Blackmun Against Associate Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Against Associate Justice William Rehnquist Excused Do you agree or disagree with the decision?

How would you have ruled it? Are there any
Questions? References Friedman, Leon. United States v. Nixon; the President before the Supreme Court.. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1974. Print.

Meter, Larry A.. United States v. Nixon: the question of executive privilege. New York: Chelsea House, 2007. Print.

"United States v. Nixon." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. <http://www.streetlaw.org/en/landmark/c>

"United States v. Nixon | The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law." The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law | A Multimedia Archive of the Supreme Court of the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1974/1974_73_1766>.

"United States v. Nixon (1974)." Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free online reference, research & homework help. | Infoplease.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. <http://www.infoplease.com/us/supreme-court/cases/ar41.html>. Charles Colson John Ehrlichman H.R. Haldeman Robert Mardian John N. Mitchell Kenneth Parkinson Gordon C. Strachan
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