"Not a Single Privilege Is Annexed to His Character": Necessary and Proper Executive Privileges and Immunities
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
By design, the presidency is exceptional. Other branches are plural. Congress, a bicameral legislature, was always meant to have scores of members and now has over 500. Due to Congress exercising the option of creating lower federal courts, the federal judiciary is larger still, with judicial power fractured among more than a hundred federal courts and hundreds of judges. In contrast, one person may command the military, steward foreign affairs, pardon federal offenses, direct the execution of federal law, and superintend the bureaucracy. The matter considered here is whether the presidency enjoys additional privileges and immunities, beyond its salary security. Or, put another way, does the Constitution protect that office from certain slings and arrows that individuals, Congress, the courts, or the states might launch toward the incumbent? Is the highest office in the land that degree of exceptional?