Policing the Executive Privilege

In response to the increasing number of confrontations over the use of the executive privilege, Senator William Fulbright has placed before the Senate a bill designed to avoid the confusion that now exacerbates the tension between the legislative and executive branches of government. This relatively uncomplicated bill defines procedures for the assertion of the executive privilege and provides sanctions to be imposed when these procedures are abused or ignored. This note reviews the nature of the controversy between the two branches of government which has contributed to the introduction of the proposed legislation, and then proceeds to examine the provisions of the bill.