The Watergate Scandal Of The United States

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Executive Privilege: Aaron Kelly Blackmon University of Houston Introduction _________________________________________________________________________________________________ In one of the most important moments in the history of the republic was the Watergate scandal that stretched the constitution to its very limits. It was a case that challenged the system of checks and balances of the branches of government. The president invoked what is referred to as executive privilege. Executive privilege as defined by Kinkopf is: The variety of privileges and immunities, grounded in the constitutional structure of the presidency, that allow the President to withhold information or refrain from participation in the…show more content…
What is clear however is that presidents have tried to maintain the confidentiality of information and secrecy of documents since at least 1792 so this is nothing new. However it is not until recent relatively recently that the Supreme Court takes this subject head on. This paper will examine the way that this concept has been formed over time and particularly the manner in which battles the congressional and executive branches have been handled by judiciary through history of the United States. Early Basis for Executive Privilege _________________________________________________________________________________________________ The first place to start scrutiny is the constitution itself. The constitution does not specifically mention this notion. For those that propose a strict reading of the constitution this argument is often used but we can see that this sort of interpretation of the document is not really held up and is not in line with the way that the courts have treated reading it. There are numerous examples where law has been adopted that have established privileged information. Hardin writes in The Yale Law Review Evidentiary privileges well established at common law protected military and state secrets and the identity of government informers. Statutes have been enacted by Congress from time to time protecting various governmental communications and reports from public scrutiny. Additionally he goes on to
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