Ruled that presidents cannot withhold information from a grand jury proceeding. United States v. Nixon is the Supreme Court's major ruling on the matter of executive privilege. The privilege would allow the president to refuse legislative or judicial requests for information. This case arose out of the Watergate scandal and the additional legislative and judicial inquiries into the matter. In addition to the investigations made by the Ervin Committee in the senate and the house Judiciary Committee in its impeachment role, information was collected by a special prosecutor Leon Jaworski , who was appointed by the justice department. Lean got a hold of some recordings and white house conversations to enable the prosecution. The accused were reinforced by Judge John Sirica. He dined the claim, and the Supreme Court upheld Judge Sirica's ruling against the claimed privileges because of the absence of Justice Rehniquist.
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.
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