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George Mason University

Check your (executive) privilege

Check your (executive) privilege

In claiming the existence of a state-level doctrine of executive privilege to shield access to internal communications, Gov. Larry Hogan stepped into a complicated legal minefield usually reserved for presidents and may have raised suspicions of whether his administration has something to hide. Some important background: The legal principle of executive privilege is an implied power of the U.S. president, derived from the Constitution but not directly specified there. Indeed, the phrase "executive privilege" as it is currently used was not a part of our common language until the 1950s when first articulated in the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration. Executive privilege is best...