U.S. v. Nixon (1974)

Lesson Plan

This mini-lesson covers the basics of the Supreme Court’s decision that then-sitting President Nixon had to turn over some recordings of his presidential communications to a court of law. Students learn about the Watergate break-in, the president’s privilege of confidentiality, and the supremacy of the Constitution even over the President of the United States.


Partner Resources for this Lesson Plan include:

U.S. v. Nixon - Middle School - on Nearpod



  • Describe basic events surrounding the Watergate break-in.
  • Explain the president’s privilege of confidentiality.
  • Identify the main arguments put forth in the case.
  • Describe the Supreme Court’s reasons for requiring Nixon to turn over his tapes.
  • Identify the tension between the president’s privilege and the needs of the criminal justice system.
  • Recognize that the president is not above the law.
  • Evaluate a president’s need for confidential communications.


Downloadable Resources

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