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Executive Privilege: A Constitutional Myth, 74 Columbia Law Review 1360 (1974)


Executive Privilege: A Constitutional Myth succinctly defines the privilege as a "President's claim of constitutional authority to withhold information from Congress" (p. 1). Its thesis, simply asserted, is that any such claim is a constitutional "myth" (p. 1). The book's formidable undertaking is to demonstrate, purportedly with unequivocal proof, that a President's refusal to disclose is an unlawful encroachment on Congress' constitutional power of inquiry into the executive branch. Whether broad or narrow, executive privilege cannot be legitimated by reconciling or balancing competing values or by "pruning a branch here or there; the axe must be put to the root" (p. 264) of this unconstitutional practice.

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