Executive Privilege

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This resource is an Inquiry Pack to accompany the Presidential Powers Timeline on LegalTimelines.org, which explores the shifting powers of the chief executive throughout American history.

Built around primary sources from the Library of Congress and other collections, this Inquiry Pack facilitates a deep dive into an important aspect of the history of suffrage and voting rights in the United States.

Each Inquiry Pack includes a background reading, several primary sources (documents, articles, images), discussion questions about the sources, an inquiry question, and an inquiry extension question.

This pack includes the following components:

  • Introduction: Executive Privilege
  • Early Use of Executive Privilege – President Washington
  • Subpoenas for Trial – President Jefferson
  • Criminal Prosecution of the President – Nixon v. U.S.
  • Presidential Immunity from Civil Suits – Clinton v. Jones
  • Subpoena for a President’s Personal Records – Trump v. Mazars
  • Inquiry Question: How should the president’s need to protect sensitive information be balanced with the rule of law and checks and balances?
  • Inquiry Extension Question: Can former presidents (and other former senior executive branch officials) claim executive privilege after they are no longer in office?
  • Inquiry Question Graphic Organizer

© 2023 Street Law, Inc.

This resource was developed with funding provided by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program. Content created and featured in partnership the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.  

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