July 24, 1974

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“On this day in 1974, the Supreme Court decided United States v. Nixon, a ruling that played a key role in President Richard Nixon’s resignation from office.”

“The President, they held, could not cite executive privilege as a reason for refusing to release tape recordings that had been subpoenaed in a criminal case related to the Watergate scandal.”

“The heart of the Court’s decision was the rejection of Nixon’s argument that he could not be legally compelled to produce records of ‘confidential conversations between a President and his close advisors’ because to do so … would violate the constitutional principle of separation of powers.”

“The Court rejected this sweeping assertion of executive privilege, noting that separation of powers principles do not prevent the Court from routinely reviewing the acts of the other branches of the federal government.”

“Sixteen days after the Court’s ruling, Nixon resigned.” (Source: blogs.kentlaw.iit.edu)

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