Supreme Court Cases: Nixon V. United States

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Article 3 of the Constitution grants the Supreme Court the power to review cases and declare a verdict. However, the Supreme Court is only allowed to make a decision regarding a case if and only it is brought to them. In other words, only cases that has been passed through the lower courts and has made its way up into the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court allowed to make a decision. From the founding of the constitution, many cases have made its way up the courts and into the Supreme Court where the Justices deliver the final verdict. Cases similar to that of Nixon vs. United States challenged the federal power of the President. Five men were apprehended by the police on April 17, 1972 in the Democratic National Committee’s offices…show more content…
Although President Richard Milhous Nixon denied any involvement, further investigation revealed that the President had installed automatic audio tapes in the White House which recorded conversations between him and his officials. When asked for copies of taped recordings in the Oval Office which is the office of the President of the United States, Nixon refused. His reasoning was due to the fact that his Presidential authority grants him the power to prevent the release of any recordings. This is also known as executive privilege. Executive privilege grants the Executive branch the power to prevent the Legislative and Judicial branch from assessing personal information and communication within the Executive branch. Later, Nixon released some of the tapes, but they were edited in which sections of the tapes were erased. As a result, a special prosecutor asked the United States’ Supreme Court to force Nixon to release the tapes to the public. Thus, this case was brought to the Supreme Court. On July 24, 1974, in a 8-0 unanimous Supreme Court ruling by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and 7 other Supreme Court judges that the President of the United States has to hand over the…show more content…
It prevented an abuse in Presidential power by limiting the power of the President. The Supreme Court gave the Judicial and Legislative branch permission to obtain confidential information from the Executive branch if it is necessary for providing a fair trial. If the Supreme Court had not limited the power of the President, future President will be able to follow Nixon’s example, committing illegal action and hiding the information from the other branches. If not for the intervention of the Supreme Court, Richard Nixon would have been able to hide the illegal actions he was committing while in office. If not for their ruling, the world would be of one where documents or recording devices recording the illegal actions of the President or any member of the Executive branch may go unnoticed. This could serious endanger the democratic nation as the President would become one similar to that of King George III whom the founding fathers sought to avoid when they draft the Constitution. However, this court case also proved that privileges granted to a certain person or groups are not absolute. The executive privilege granted to the President is not absolute and neither are any of the rights guaranteed in the constitution. No rights are absolute and thus, this court case had a negative impact on the society of the United States. Generally speaking, the court case, Nixon vs. United States
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