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United States v. Richard Nixon

After the Watergate Scandal, Nixon was taken to the Supreme Court in a case called United States v. Richard Nixon. The special prosecutor was named Archibald Fox,  he issued a subpoena to President Nixon, meaning Nixon had to show up to court. President Nixon refused, and later he offered what would later be known as the Stennis Compromise. He would show the Watergates to Senator Stennis, who was famously hard of hearing, and he would summarize the tapes and submit them to court. Cox refused the compromise, leading Nixon to want to fire him, and his firing would be known to be called the "Saturday Night Massacre"

Nixon wanted Cox fired, he told his Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, to do that. He was so offended, he resigned. He then went to the Deputy Attorney General, William Ruckelshaus, and told him to fire Cox. Once again, he refused and resigned. Finally, they went to the third-in-command, Robert Bork, who fired Cox. This ended up hurting his career, as he was nominated to the Supreme Court by Reagan, but he was denied because he fired Cox. 

A new prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, was hired as the new special prosecutor. Nixon refused to hand over the tapes, and told his lawyer to issue a statement planning to quash the subpoena. James D. St. Clair, his lawyer issued this statement, The President wants me to argue that he is as powerful a monarch as Louis XIV, only four years at a time, and is not subject to the processes of any court in the land except the court of impeachment. The judge refused the request and Nixon took it to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled that no one, not even the President of the United States, was above the law. They also said the President cannot use executive privilege to withhold evidence. It was a unanimous decision (8-0), and one justice, William Rehnquist, recused himself because he was the Assistant Attorney General under Nixon.

David Witten

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