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The opinion of the court was made by Chief Justice Burger. The discussion of executive privilege began with consideration of an absolute privilege. Nixon and his layers tried to ensure full and free discussion between the president and his advisers. Nixon also tried to assert the absolute privilege on separation of power grounds. The court rejected their arguments, but allowed "absolute, unqualified" presidential privilege, only if the president could show a need to protect military or a national security secret. The court didn't want to give the president absolute privilege because it would interfere with the courts discharge of their constitutional functions. If the court allowed privileges to prevail, the ends of criminal justice would be defeated because the very integrity of the judicial system depends on full disclosure of all evidence. To allow the president to withhold evidence from a criminal prosecution would only cut into the guardue process of law, and impair the basic function of the court.
United States v. Nixon severely limited the presidential claim to executive privilege. Executive privilege is not an expressed power, and its status as an implied power had been uncertain prior to this decision. The purpose for the privilege is that presidents must be able to engage in unrestricted discussions with advisers when considering policy options. In addition, active national security interests might be adjusted by compelled disclosure of information. United States v. Nixon acknowledges that privileges should extend to certain information. At the same time, the Nixon case determined that the demands of the cri
Quotes talked about in this paper
- The court rejected their arguments, but allowed "absolute, unqualified" ...
Names mentioned in this research paper
major ruling, Gregg, Justice Marshall, Justice Potter Stewart, Chief Justice Burger,
Organizations included in this term paper
Supreme Court, The New York Times, Nixon Administrations, Washington Post, justice department,
Locations mentioned in this term paper
United States, Georgia, Furman,
Keywords included in this term paper
executive privilege, Supreme Court, death penalty, Nixon, United States, the court, the death penalty, capital punishment, prior restraint, absolute privilege, New York, national security, Pentagon Papers, the new york times, cruel and unusual punishment, Court decision, criminal justice, president nixon, criminal prosecution, injunctions, Chief Justice Burger, Justice Potter Stewart, document, statutes, the pentagon papers, revised statutes, mitigating circumstances, Watergate scandal, Leon Jaworski, grand jury, implied power, John Sirica, security interests, legislative, irreparable harm, special prosecutor, white house, Espionage Act, statutory authority, Daniel Ellsberg, Washington Post, Vietnam War, special character, Defense Department, free press, policy, information, restraints, discussions, judicial system,