On Demand Audio

Understanding Congressional Oversight and Presidential Immunity

(444 reviews)

Produced on September 24, 2020

Taught by
$ 89 Constitutional, Administrative, and Election Year 2020 In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 3m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

This program, presented by Ashwin Phatak, Appellate Counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, will review two major 2020 Supreme Court decisions in the areas of congressional oversight and presidential immunity. In Trump v. Mazars, the Court decided that Congress can subpoena the President’s financial records but must meet a heightened showing of relevance and need. Meanwhile, in Trump v. Vance, the Court held that presidential immunity did not preclude a New York grand jury from obtaining the President’s tax returns as part of a criminal investigation. Together, these cases represent an important effort by the Court to check the President, but they may have little effect in practice given that both cases were remanded for further proceedings. This program will discuss these cases, analyze the legal theories at issue, the Court’s decisions, and assess the impact these decisions may have on congressional oversight and presidential power going forward.

This program will benefit attorneys who practice in or are merely interested in the areas of congressional oversight or presidential immunity. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Analyze the basic legal framework for cases involving congressional oversight and presidential immunity
  2. Discuss the two major cases argued and decided this term: Trump v. Mazars, about congressional oversight, and Trump v. Vance, about presidential immunity from judicial process
  3. Explore the ramifications of these two decisions on the current President, and on the American presidency more broadly 

Credit Information

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Ashwin Phatak

Constitutional Accountability Center

Ashwin Phatak is an Appellate Counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC). Before joining CAC, Ashwin was an Attorney-Adviser at the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. Ashwin also served as a law clerk for Judge Patricia A. Millett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Judge Beverly B. Martin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Ashwin graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2014, where he served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review.

Bar Admissions:

I’m admitted in New York and DC.


Gary D.

Could have used more discussion regarding the cases and statutes cited by the Supreme Court. A large reliance was made on the credibility of the lecturer and his opinion, rather than forming an individual opinion based upon the legal interpretations.

bruno b.

4 means best m

Charles M.

Excellent Presentation

Michael J D.

superb. This was great. Please follow-up on the outcome of the cases.

alan b.

Very easy to listen to. Just right.

George K.

Great course

Stacey W.

Nice presentation

Thomas C.

Excellent, timely course and excellent presenter.

Stuart D.

I have been viewing Lawline programs for a number of years and this is among the best i HAVE SEEN.

Thomas P.

Very timely and interesting material.

michael m.

well structured and put together presentaiton

arthur s.

well presented with excellent support documents.

C. K.

Very informative and timely. Thank you.

Timothy O.

Well done!

William F.

Great class

Janet H.


Kenneth V.

Nice job. Timely and interest

Kathryn A.

Excellent presenter. Thank you.

Marguerite D.

Nice summary

George A.

I really enjoyed this course. The topic is fascinating and the presentation superb

Andrea R.

I really enjoyed this presentation and will seek out additional programs by the presenter. It was highly elucidating and timely. Thank you!!!

R Nicholas E.

Excellent presenter

Susan F.

Excellent presentation

Nicole G.

GREAT class.

Robert C.

superb content and top-notch presenter! could listen to him all day

Elisabeth B.

Well done! So timely. Thanks.

Lexi W.

Very timely.

Jeffrey H.

Excellent presentation in a clear concise manner.

Jon S.

Loved it. Always great to have timely content

Bethany A.

Very enjoyable course.

Amy L.

This course was FANTASTIC. Perfect balance of overview and explanation w/o going “into the weeds”

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