What Congress gets to know

Slate
by Walter Dellinger and Christopher H. Schroeder

03/26/07

The notion that Congress has no legitimate interest in overseeing White House involvement in the administration of law — as White House spokesman Tony Snow suggested last week — has no support in history. President Nixon thought that the White House itself was special and immune from oversight, but this extreme view has never been endorsed by Congress or by any court. The argument for an executive privilege to withhold information from Congress is less obvious, but still substantial. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the privilege of protecting the deliberative process within the White House ‘is fundamental to the operation of Government.’ The country is best served if the president’s advisers are free to give him blunt, candid, even harsh, assessments. Judges and their law clerks, senators and their staffers, editors and their reporters all believe the quality of their work and the candor of their advice benefits from confidential consultations. So it is with the president...

//www.slate.com/id/2161448/


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