In 1974, SCOTUS ruled, 8-0, that Nixon’s claim of absolute executive privilege was unconstitutional. But the court didn’t say anything about Missouri, so Matt Blunt is claiming that privilege in his legal skirmish with Scott Eckersley.
The Post-Dispatch has this observation:
If we follow this argument correctly, it means that if Mr. Blunt or his minions, acting in their official capacities, intentionally smeared the character of an idealistic 30-year-old lawyer, there’s nothing the lawyer can do about it.
They can allege, as they did, that he used state computers to visit a group sex website. They can hint, as they did, that he had drug problems. They can say, as they did, that he improperly conducted private business during office hours with state computers and that he had a violent temper. They can say all this, even if they knew it wasn’t true, and trash a young man’s reputation and ruin his career, and nobody can touch them.
We have but one word for this argument: hogwash. (It’s not the word we wanted, but it will have to do). The divine right of kings went out in the 16th century.