Clinton V Jones Case Brief

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Hayden Price 12/4/13 Poli Sci 2040 CASE BRIEF 10: Clinton v. Jones (1997) 1) Clinton v. Jones 2) 520 U.S. 681 3) Paula Corbin Jones, who was an Arkansas state employee, sued President Bill Clinton for sexually harassing her while Clinton was still the Governor of Arkansas. Her lawsuit sought more than half a million dollars in damages. Clinton insisted that the case be stayed, and resumed only after he had left office. He also insisted that Presidents could be sued for neither their official nor their unofficial actions while in office. In 1994 a lower federal court judge postponed the trail indefinitely and this postponement was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. 4) There are a few precedents that contributed greatly to the case. First, Nixon v. Fitzgerald explained “the sphere of protected action must be related closely to the immunity’s justifying purpose.” Secondly, Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer made it to when the President takes official action; the court has the authority to determine whether he has acted within the law. Thirdly, U.S. v. Nixon held that a subpoena duces tecum could be directed to the President. And the finally precedent in this case is Article II of the U.S. Constitution because this is where it states that a single President responsible for the actions of the Executive Branch as a whole. 5) There is no “official” action that is being challenged. Paula Jones simply wants to be able to sue President Clinton without having to wait until the end of his term 6) At issue is weather or not the separation of powers or the need for confidentiality of high-level information can justify an unqualified Presidential immunity from a court of law. 7) For a separation of powers reason, is a serving President entitled to immunity from civil litigation that came from events that happened before he took office?
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