In the United States, where “all men are created equal,” every person must obey the laws of the community and the nation or pay the penalty for his failure to do so. This principle, in the abstract, would go unchallenged. However, as is so often the case, when principles are translated into policies, the national consensus vanishes and disagreements arise. It can be rationally argued that the public welfare will best be served when certain persons are not subject to all the laws of the land. The concept of public officer immunity from private tort actions has been around for centuries and has been applied by federal, state, and local courts to various public officers ranging from local school board members to members of the President's cabinet. In the recent case of Nixon v. Fitzgerald, the United States Supreme Court, for the first time, addressed the issue of the extent to which the President of the United States is entitled to immunity from civil actions. The Court's five to four decision allowing the President absolute immunity from civil suits arising from actions taken by him within "the outer perimeter of his authority," draws into question the actual validity of the principle that "no man is above the law." This Note examines the Court's decision in Nixon v. Fitzgerald and endeavors to assess the probable impact of that decision on the future course of executive officer immunity.
Absolute Presidential Immunity from Civil Damages Liability: Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 102 S. Ct. 2690 (1982),
62 Neb. L. Rev.
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