WATERGATE: Rejecting Nixon's Absolutes

The showdown nears. The stage has been set for a final confrontation between Executive and judiciary, between President Nixon and the U.S. Supreme Court. By a 5-to-2 majority last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica's decision that the President must let him examine the Watergate tapes to decide which to submit to the Watergate grand jury.

Trying to head off a constitutional clash, the court of appeals had asked the President's attorneys and Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox to try to work out a compromise. No agreement could be...

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