United States v Nixon (1974), during this time there was large amount of distrust in the National government. Just three years earlier the American people had discovered the vietnam pentagon papers revealing some of the government's secret activities.Also, the national guard recently killed Four students protesting at Kent State University. Overall trust in the government is dwindling away and Nixon's actions don't help.
In 1972 five men in connection with the committee to re-elect president Nixon, tried to sneak into the democratic national committee in watergate complex to plant cameras and recording equipment. After their conviction, one of the men sent a letter to the judge confessing that there were other co-conspirators paying the men not to rat on them. With evidence that high members of the Nixon administration were involved in this crime, the Senate conducted an investigation. Through this investigation it was discovered that Nixon recorded all of his conversations with his advisors. The prosecutor appointed to the watergate scandal subpoenaed for the recordings. The President attorney argued that Nixon was immune through executive privilege to provide the subpoenaed tapes. He also argued that this affair was a “intra-branch dispute” and therefore should be decided within the executive branch. The Constitutional question at hand is “ is the president above the law? and how far does executive power reach?”. This case was decided by the Burger court against president Nixon and forced him to provide the subpoenaed recordings and transcripts. Fallowing the release of the tapes and transcripts, Nixon resigned shortly after. Potential ramifications of this case could be allowing private information from the executive to be easily subpoenaed for.
Hamdi v Rumsfeld was decided in 2004 by the Rehnquist court. The historical context for this case is three years earlier the world trade center was destroyed in a terrorist attack. The same year, 2001, Yamir Hamdi was accused and arrested in Afghanistan for the Taliban and named an “enemy combatant” and transferred to a prison in Virginia. Hamadi was an American citizen that moved to Saudi Arabia with his family as a child. Hamadi had not been charged with a crime, but was still being held indefinitely and was refused legal counsel. Hamad's father created a petition for a writ of habeas corpus accusing the government of violating his son's Constitutional rights that he was promised as an American citizen. His father argued the United states were violating his son's 5th and 14th amendments by refusing due process of law and equal protection. The Constitutional question is whether or not the executive branch has the authority to detain citizens who qualify as “enemy combatants”. Precedents used in this case were Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. 2, 125 (1866) and Mathews v. Eldridge (1976). The courts decided that the United states did violate Hamadis rights and that separation of powers does not require the courts to blindly believe someone is an enemy combatant. A potential ramification of this case is that it could limit the executive branch’s power during time of war and their ability to detain enemy combatants.