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See also Con Law (Executive power: privilege). Executive privilege is provided only for the top ranking executive officers of the Executive Branch of the government. This privilege requires a reasonable relationship to the executive matter or the proceeding under consideration to invoke the privilege. A holder of executive privilege is absolutely privileged.


Neither the doctrine of separation of powers nor the generalized need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. See, e. g., Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177; Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 211. Absent a claim of need to protect military, diplomatic, or sensitive national security secrets, the confidentiality of Presidential communications is not significantly diminished by producing material for a criminal trial under the protected conditions of in camera inspection, and any absolute executive privilege under Art. II of the Constitution would plainly conflict with the function of the courts under the Constitution.


Although the courts will afford the utmost deference to Presidential acts in the performance of an Art. II function, United States v. Burr, 25 F. Cas. 187, 190, 191-192 (No. 14,694), when ...

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