No. 95-1853.

520 U.S. 681 (1997)

117 S.Ct. 1636

137 L.Ed.2d 945


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided May 27, 1997.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Robert S. Bennett argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Carl S. Rauh, Alan Kriegel, Amy R. Sabrin, and David A. Strauss.

Acting Solicitor General Dellinger argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal. With him on the brief were Assistant Attorney General Hunger, Deputy Solicitor General Kneedler, Malcolm L. Stewart, and Douglas N. Letter.

Gilbert K. Davis argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was Joseph Cammarata.*

Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, p. 710.

Justice Stevens, delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case raises a constitutional and a prudential question concerning the Office of the President of the United States. Respondent, a private citizen, seeks to recover damages from the current occupant of that office based on actions allegedly taken before his term began. The President submits that in all but the most exceptional cases the Constitution requires federal courts to defer such litigation until his...

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