Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Executive Privilege essays

Executive Privilege essays The term executive privilege is defined by the Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition (2001) as the "exemption of the executive branch of government, or its officers, from having to give evidence, specifically, in U.S. law, the exemption of the president from disclosing information to congressional inquiries or the judiciary." That's a fairly broad definition because there is no explanation of what information need not be disclosed, and, in fact, determining that has often been a matter for the courts. The same source notes that claims of executive privilege are usually invoked to protect confidential or diplomatic operations and may also be involved to protect the private discussions between the president and his close aides. Although the courts have been inclined to support claims of executive privilege, those claims are often not honored when it is a case that is or might become criminal, such as that of President Richard M. Nixon invoking executive privilege after the Watergate break-in. Another area that often causes the courts to refuse claims of executive privilege is when an investigation is leading toward an impeachment, as with Bill Clinton. (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2001) The way the claim of executive privilege is being used during the Bush administration makes it seem that the concept is little more than the Fifth Amendment for those in high political office regarding what they've done that the American public might have a legitimate need to know. In short, the way it has been invoked lately has made it appear that the administration wants some protection from self-incrimination. While many observers note that the Bush administration operates in secrecy, a report a year and a half ago in Presidential Studies Quarterly noted that "even before September 11, 2001, the administration had sought to limit press and public access to some information, includin...

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