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Presidential Papers: A Property Issue

Pamela R. McKay
The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Jan., 1982), pp. 21-40
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4307432
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Presidential Papers: A Property Issue
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Abstract

The dramatic change which occurred in the ownership of presidential papers due to litigation surrounding former President Nixon's papers is the underlying theme in this discussion of the property aspects of presidential papers from George Washington to the present. The paper begins with the background and a brief summary of the Supreme Court case Nixon v. Administrator of General Services (1977), which upheld the constitutionality of legislation denying Mr. Nixon his presidential material. Additional topics include: (1) the property challenge for each side in that case; (2) a description of presidential papers; (3) a survey of past practice and law regarding the ownership and custody/control of presidential papers; (4) concepts of property revealed in the post-1974 events; (5) the role of Nixon v. Administrator of General Services in terminating presidential ownership of presidential material; (6) the pro and con arguments of presidential ownership; and (7) a summary of the provisions of the Presidential Records Act of 1978. Property writings of John Locke, Bruce Ackerman, and Charles Reich are discussed, as well as writings on presidential papers of Allen Nevins, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and H. G. Jones.

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