100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Richard M. Nixon

Richard M. Nixon

The Watergate Tapes

“No One on [my] Staff … was Involved in this Very Bizarre Incident”

United States v. Nixon

418 U.S. 683 (1974)

On a steamy July day in 1973, U.S senators investigating the Watergate scandal were stunned when presidential aide Alexander Butterfield disclosed that President Richard M. Nixon had used an audiotape system in the Oval Office that secretly recorded nearly all of his conversations. That revelation sparked a series of battles over possession of this potentially valuable evidence. Federal officials investigating Watergate sought the tapes to discover whether Nixon had participated in burglary, wiretapping, obstructing justice, or any of the other crimes committed to aid his 1972 reelection bid. The president gave some tapes to a federal judge in 1973, but he ...

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