From the Nixon White House to Trump Tower
A Look At Executive Power, the Appointment of Supreme Court Justices, and the Backstory of Roe v. Wade
John Dean and James Robenalt
This program takes its inspiration from Justice David Souter’s campaign to emphasize the teaching of civics and the role of lawyers as public citizens. Click here for more.
The Preamble to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Section 6, provides our guidance: “As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system, the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession…In addition, a lawyer should further the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority.”
John Dean’s direct knowledge of the application (and misapplication) of presidential powers and Jim Robenalt’s encyclopedic knowledge of the presidency and the courts combine to offer you thoughtful and practical insight into what is happening in the halls of power, what might lie ahead and, more importantly, how the practicing bar can respond.
Unchecked Presidential Powers are plastered on the walls of American history:
Prior to Watergate – FDR’s Sumner Welles Situation; Truman’s Steel Seizure; Eisenhower’s U-2 Incident; JFK’s Lady Friends; and LBJ’s Bobby Baker Investigation. Even with its lessons, Watergate did not stem the tide – Goldwater vs. Carter; Reagan’s Iran-Contra; Clinton’s Impeachment and Pardon Powers; Bush/Cheney & Iraq; and Obama’s Imperial Presidency. Rest assured that the constitutional restrictions on the office will be tested again!
The future may be uncertain, but your enjoyment of this fascinating discussion is guaranteed to stimulate your civic consciousness and invigorate your passion as a champion of the rule of law.
Program Agenda & Detail
[Part I: 60 Minutes]
The role of lawyer as public citizen and guardian of the Constitution Executive Power, Article II Click here for more.
15 Minute Break
[Part II: 60 Minutes]
Article II’s nomination and appointment clause for Supreme Court Justices
A deep dive into President Nixon’s appointment of four justices in his first term: Justices Burger, Blackmun, Powell and Rehnquist. Two would serve as Chief Justice of the United States (Burger and Rehnquist) and dominate the Court for 36 years. John Dean, as White House Counsel, vetted Supreme Court candidates. This segment makes heavy use of the Nixon Tapes. Especially enlightening was Nixon’s attempt to put the first woman on the Court.
[Part III: 60 Minutes]
The backstory to Roe v Wade
Again in the news as President Trump promised to appoint justices who would overturn Roe. Nixon appointed the justices most responsible for Roe’s ultimate outcome — Powell and Blackmun.
If you are not convinced that your understanding of the course topic has
improved after completion of any P.E.G.® seminar, we will refund your course tuition.