Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone
United States v. Nixon
A Senate committee was set up to investigate a break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel. Under public pressure, President Nixon appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether the White House was involved in the break-in. Upon motion by the Special Prosecutor, a subpoena was issued to President Nixon by the District Court requiring the production of certain tapes and writings between the President and his aids and advisors. President Nixon brought this action to quash the subpoena, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction to issue it because the matter involved an “interbranch” dispute between a subordinate (the Independent Counsel) and a superior officer (the President). Alternatively, he argued that the subpoena should be quashed because it demanded confidential conversations between a President and his close advisors that would be against public interest to produce.
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