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Executive Orders

This guide is designed to help researchers understand and locate executive orders, presidential documents, and related executive branch material.


We have collected a selection of articles about executive orders and other presidential documents. While many of these articles are about executive orders and presidential documents generally, we categorized the majority of them under specific topics, including articles about presidential action in a particular area of law. The categories themselves are arbitrary, and many articles could fall under more than one category. The categorization is merely meant to help the researcher find more relevant articles quickly. 


"Legislative" Executive Orders

Many executive orders direct federal agencies or officials to act or administer their duties in a particular manner. Some executive orders, however, more directly affect private rights or obligations of individuals and entities.  These types of executive orders can resemble statutes, and this category of executive order has been referred to as "presidential legislation." The articles in this subsection discuss the use of these statute-like executive orders. 

Review/Interpretation of Executive Action

Much like legislation or administrative regulations, executive orders and other presidential documents can also be subject to interpretation and review. The articles in this subsection deal with how they are or should be interpreted and reviewed. 

Presidential Authority Over Agency Rulemaking

Executive orders and related presidential actions are distinct from agency rules and regulations. Yet, as head of the executive branch, the President necessarily wields a lot of influence over administrative law. In fact, some of the President's control over the administrative state itself is the result of executive orders. There is a line of scholarship addressing how much control and authority the President has or should have over agency rulemaking, and what contours that authority should take. 

Executive Action and National Security

Executive Orders in Specific Areas of Law