The White House Tapes On March 1, 1974, a grand jury indicted sev...

  1. Home
  2. Homework Library
  3. Mathematics
  4. Game Theory
  5. The White House Tapes On March 1, 1974, a grand jury indicted sev...

QuestionQuestion

The White House Tapes
On March 1, 1974, a grand jury indicted seven former aides to U.S. President Richard Nixon for attempting to cover up White House involvement in a burglary of Democratic National Committe eat the Watergate complex in Washington. On April 18, the judge in the case, John Sirica, issued a subpoena for tapes of President Nixon’s conversations with the defendants.

The President’s attorney, James St. Clair, attempted to delay responding to the subpoena. The prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, then used an unusual procedure to appeal directly to the Supreme Courtand request that the Court order the President to supply the tapes. The Court heard oral arguments on July 8, and the justices met on July 9 to decide the case.

One justice, William Rehnquist, withdrew from the case, probably because he had worked in Pres-ident Nixon’s Justice Department. Of the remaining eight justices, six quickly agreed to uphold the prosecutor’s request. Two justices, Warren Burger and Harry Blackmun, were reluctant to up-hold the prosecutor’s request, because they thought his direct appeal to the Supreme Court was improper.

Also on July 9, President Nixon’s attorney said that the President had “not yet decided” whether he would supply the tapes if the Supreme Court ordered him to. This statement was probably intended to pressure the Court into backing down from the confrontation. At minimum, it was probably intended to encourage some justices to vote against upholding the prosecutor’s request.If the vote was split, the President could argue that it was not sufficiently definitive for a matterof this magnitude. Jaworski believed that in the event of a split vote, the President would “go on television and tell the people that the presidency should not be impaired by a divided Court.”

We will regard this as a two-player game. Player 1 is Justices Burger and Blackmun, whom we assume will vote together; we therefore treat them as one player. Player 2 is President Nixon.
First, Justices Burger and Blackmun decide how to vote. If they vote to uphold the prosecutor’s request, the result is an 8-0 Supreme Court decision in favor of the prosecutor. If they vote to reject the prosecutor’s request, the result is a 6-2 Supreme Court decision in favor of the prosecutor.After the Supreme Court has rendered its decision, President Nixon decides whether to comply by supplying the tapes, or to defy the decision.

President Nixon’s preferences are as follows:
•Best outcome (payoff 4): 6-2 decision, President defies the decision.
•Second-best outcome (payoff 3): 6-2 decision, President supplies the tapes.
•Third-best outcome (payoff 2): 8-0 decision, President supplies the tapes.
•Worst outcome (payoff 1): 8-0 decision, President defies the decision.

Explanation:The President’s best outcome is a divided decision that he can defy while claiming the decision is not really definitive. His worst outcome is an 8-0 decision that he then defies; this would probably result in immediate impeachment. As for the two intermediate outcomes, the President isbetter off with the weaker vote, which should give him some wiggle room.Justices Burger and Blackmun’s preferences are as follows:
•Best outcome (payoff 4): 6-2 decision, President supplies the tapes.
•Second-best outcome (payoff 3): 8-0 decision, President supplies the tapes.
•Third-best outcome (payoff 2): 8-0 decision, President defies the decision.
•Worst outcome (payoff 1): 6-2 decision, President defies the decision.

Explanation: In their best outcome, Burger and Blackmun get to vote their honest legal opinion that the prosecutor’s direct appeal to the Court was wrong, but a Constitutional crisis is averted because the President complies anyway. In their second-best outcome, they vote dishonestly, but they succeed in averting a major Constitutional crisis. In their third-best outcome, the crisis occurs,but because of the strong 8-0 vote, it will probably quickly end. In the worst outcome, the crisis occurs, and because of the weak vote, it may drag out. In addition, in the last outcome, the President may succeed in establishing the principle that a 6-2 Court decision need not be followed,which no member of the Court wants.
1. Draw an extensive form game for the situation described, providing clear labels and payoffsfor each player.
2. Create a normal-form game that corresponds to the extensive form game.
3. Using the extensive and/or normal form games, make a prediction about what happened.Explain your reasoning.
4. What actually did happen? Find out and write a brief summary (about one paragraph).

Solution PreviewSolution Preview

These solutions may offer step-by-step problem-solving explanations or good writing examples that include modern styles of formatting and construction of bibliographies out of text citations and references. Students may use these solutions for personal skill-building and practice. Unethical use is strictly forbidden.

    By purchasing this solution you'll be able to access the following files:
    Solution.docx.

    $40.00
    for this solution

    or FREE if you
    register a new account!

    PayPal, G Pay, ApplePay, Amazon Pay, and all major credit cards accepted.

    Find A Tutor

    View available Game Theory Tutors

    Get College Homework Help.

    Are you sure you don't want to upload any files?

    Fast tutor response requires as much info as possible.

    Decision:
    Upload a file
    Continue without uploading

    SUBMIT YOUR HOMEWORK
    We couldn't find that subject.
    Please select the best match from the list below.

    We'll send you an email right away. If it's not in your inbox, check your spam folder.

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Live Chats