U.S. v. Nixon, II: Written Briefs and Oral Arguments
Once the writ of certiorari was granted, the lawyers for the parties to the dispute began to prepare their briefs for presentation to the Court. The justices, too, began to review seriously these threshold and substantive issues and, with their law clerks, they began to develop tentative answers to these constitutional issues.
The justices of the Supreme Court, together as a full court only since the appointment and confirmation of Powell and Rehnquist in 1972, had in less than one month (May 31 to June 15) granted certiorari in an expedited fashion, raised fundamental threshold constitutional questions about the separation of powers, and drawn together in an institutional duty to resolve "the Watergate mess." The next stage, prior to the oral argument scheduled for July 8, required the justices to review the briefs and to prepare their responses to the legal and political questions raised in the case of "U.S. v. Nixon".