Sexual McCarthyism: Clinton, Starr, and the Emerging Constitutional Crisis

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Basic Books, 1998 - Political Science - 275 pages
The greatest threat to the future of the office of the American Presidency may turn on whether William Jefferson Clinton told a lie, under oath, and then tried — unsuccessfully — to keep secret his sexual relationship with a 21-year-old White House intern. The media's feeding frenzy and the public's voyeuristic prurience have been fueled by almost daily disclosures about this affair, making "The Starr Report" itself an instant #1 national bestseller. Yet all of this obscures the very real matters of state that lie at the heart of the Starr investigation. In "Sexual McCarthyism ," best-selling author Alan M. Dershowitz addresses the key issues at stake — issues that transcend the titillating daily headlines — and what their long-term importance and effects my be. Among the many important questions he raises and then answers are these: Why the President's private life actually "is" the business of the American people.Why the independent counsel law is a necessary evil, but why the appointment of Kenneth Starr was improper.Why the Supreme Court was right in requiring the President to submit to the Paula Jones lawsuit.Why Kenneth Starr's leaking of testimony and evidence is at least as serious an obstruction of justice as anything alleged against the President.What the lasting constitutional, historical, and political legacy of this case is likely to be.

Long after the buzz and sizzle of "Monica-Gate" has subsided, readers will still be looking to "Sexual McCarthyism" as a substantive, clear, and definitive analysis of the underlying importance of one of the most serious, yet entirely avoidable, developments in modern American presidential politics.

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About the author (1998)

Alan Dershowitz is Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Known as a defense lawyer, he is also a litigator, columnist, lecturer, book reviewer, and prolific author. His recent books include Sexual McCarthyism, on the Starr investigation, and Reasonable Doubts, on the O. J. Simpson case. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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