Executive Privilege : A Controversial Presidential Power Essay

1342 Words Feb 9th, 2015 6 Pages
Executive Privilege is a controversial presidential power that is recognized by the courts but is nowhere mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Executive Privilege is often used by presidents to hide information that may be incriminating or detrimental to their party or political standing. Many historians and politicians have claimed that executive privilege is not real and question whether it is constitutional for presidents and other members of the executive branch to withhold documents and testimony from congress.
As defined in the dictionary, Executive Privilege is the principle that members of the executive branch of government cannot legally be forced to disclose their confidential communications when such disclosure would adversely affect the operations or procedures of the executive branch. It is used when documents or testimony, from members of the executive branch, is subpoenaed by congress for judicial proceedings. Executive Privilege was first used by the Washington Administration in 1792. Congress demanded documents and testimony from Washington’s administration about a failed military operation. The administration agreed that they had the right to withhold the information as long as it was for the public good. Although this was the first use of the power, the term “Executive Privilege” was never used by presidents until Dwight D. Eisenhower, in the 1950’s.
Sissenwein 2
President Dwight Eisenhower used executive privilege more than forty times throughout his…

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