The Watergate Scandal Of The United States

1460 Words Dec 4th, 2014 6 Pages
Executive Privilege:
Aaron Kelly Blackmon
University of Houston

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 processes of the other branches. These privileges and immunities include the state secrets privilege, the presidential communications privilege, and the presidential immunity from civil suit for official acts.
Kinkopf is hesitant to really define it because as with all aspects of the law the nature of it has changed so much over time it is hard to delineate where it ends and where it begins. During this constitutional standoff there is an assertion by President Nixon that he has clear authority under the constitution to withhold information from congress because if he were forced to divulge it would be a violation of the separation of powers. He is not the first to raise this notion and it is in this previously discussed ambiguity that…

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