Even today, four decades after the events, Watergate still symbolizes all that is, and might be, wrong with the workings of the federal government, elected officials and, ultimately, with the political system itself.
Nixon resigned because of “Watergate”—a scandal that began with a bungled burglary and ended with criminal charges against his closest aides and demands for his impeachment.
Dealing with the principle of separation of powers, this lesson focuses on the question of whether or not the Constitution’s separation of powers intended to create an absolute executive privilege.
This case summary provides teachers with everything they need to teach about United States v. Nixon (1974). It contains background information in the form of summaries and important vocabulary at three different reading levels, as well a review of relevant legal concepts, diagram of how the case moved through the court system, and summary of the decision. This resource also includes eight classroom-ready activities that teach about the case using interactive methods.
The Pursuit of Justice book, written by Kermit L. Hall and John J. Patrick, analyzes 30 Supreme Court cases chosen by a group of Supreme Court justices and leading civics educators as the most important for American citizens to understand. An additional 100 significant cases included in state history and civics standards are summarized. The complete book or individuals chapters can be downloaded.
James T. Patterson, historian at Brown University, discusses the end of the 20th century, focusing on the changes in the United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore.