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Clinton v. Jones - Should Civil Suits Against The President Be Stalled Until He Is Out Of Office?

issues americans law question

The administration of President Bill Clinton, with its many attendant scandals, raised a number of issues concerning the presidency, ethics, and the law. Among these issues was the question, "Should civil suits against the president be stalled until he is out of office?" Given Clinton's enormous popularity, it is likely that the majority of Americans would have said "yes."

But as various Supreme Court justices have observed in different situations, America's is a government "of laws, not of men." Should Bill Clinton be exempt from the law because he is popular, or because he is president? Should a president be subject to civil suits? Many Americans considered Jones's suit something less than a grave matter.

To look specifically at Clinton, Jones, or the suit, however, is to miss the point. In answering the question regarding presidents and civil suits, Americans should evaluate it without regard to personalities. Then they would be left with two issues: on the one hand, there was the fact that the president should not be above the law; on the other hand, responding to personal lawsuits brought against him would distract him from the important business of being president.

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