Brief Fact Summary. A cost-management expert for the Air Force was fired after he testified in front of Congress about cost overruns in certain military projects. The Defendant, the President of the United States Richard Nixon (Defendant), claimed that he made the firing decision.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The President of the United States (President) is shielded by absolute immunity from civil damages for acts done in his official capacity as President.
Issue. Does the President have absolute immunity from suit for actions taken in his official capacity?
Held. Yes, the President is immune from suit from his official acts as a matter of public policy rooted in the structure of government mandated by the separation of power principle. This immunity stems from the President’s unique position in the constitution scheme and the immense importance of his duties. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) is worried about diverting the President’s energies to the concerns related to private lawsuits.
In varying scope, a qualified immunity is available to officers of the executive branch of government, the variation being dependent upon the scope of discretion and responsibilities of the office and all the circumstances as they reasonably appeared at the time of the action on which liability is sought to be based.View Full Point of Law