Us Vs Nixon Case Study

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United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) Facts: This case concerns the Watergate Scandal where the special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, had subpoenaed recordings of President Richard Nixon and seven of his advisers and aides discussing the break-in at the Watergate building complex. A grand jury had indicted these seven men and Prosecutor Jaworski believed these tapes contained evidence against the men and perhaps President Nixon as well. President Nixon argued that his executive privilege protected him from dispersing information to other branches of government because he had a right to “preserve confidential communications within the executive branch” and/or secure the national interest. Procedural History: This case was heard by United States Court of Appeals for…show more content…
Amendments IV and V were also used in making the judgment in mandating a speedy and fair trial as well as the ability of the defendant(s) to face their accusers. Application: In applying the law, the Supreme Court had to strike a harmony between executive powers (the executive privilege of confidential communications) as outlined in Article II and the rights of the accused found in Amendments IV and V. The Court noted that the President is not a regular citizen regarding claims of executive privilege but that privilege is not absolute. The opinion was limited in this case. Conclusion: The Justices ruled unanimously 8-0 against President Nixon. Justice Rehnquist recused himself due to having served as Assistant Attorney General in the Nixon Administration. The Supreme Court held that not even the President was above the law and that the executive privilege could not be used by a President as an excuse to withhold relevant evidence in criminal trial. President Nixon was ordered to relinquish the tape recordings and he resigned sixteen days

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