Source Material: Nixon's Ghost Haunts the Presidential Records Act: The Reagan and George W. Bush Administrations


  • Bruce P. Montgomery

    1. Associate professor and faculty director of archives at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is currently writing a book on Nixon and the Presidential Records Act.
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Former president Nixon's legal campaign to reclaim ownership over Ms White House materials after they were seized by an act of Congress has profoundly influenced how the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations have attempted to exercise a maximum controlling interest in their own White House materials. In the 1977 case Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, the U.S. Supreme Court emphatically rejected Nixon's constitutional claims of executive privilege con-cerninghispresidentialmaterials. Nixon may have lost his bidfor ownership over his White House tapes and documents, but he neverthekss provided the rationale for subsequent Republican administrations to assert similar claims of executive privikge with the aim of nullifyingthe 1978 Presidential Records Act.