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Federal Administrative Law

This guide describes how to research Federal Administrative Law.


Executive Orders and Proclamations derive their legal authority either from existing statutes or from other constitutional authority given to the President. They do not have to be approved by Congress. Presidential Executive Orders and Proclamations are required to be published in the Federal Register unless there are National Security concerns.  They are then compiled in the annual volume of Title 3 of the CFR.

An Executive Order is generally addressed to government officials and agencies while a Proclamation is generally addressed to the entire nation and tends to be more ceremonial in nature.

A Presidential Signing Statement is a written comment issued by a President at the time of signing legislation. 

Sources for Presidential Documents

Proclamations and Executive Orders

Messages and Papers of the Presidents

Public Papers of the Presidents (beginning with President Hoover)

The Compilation of Presidential Documents

Other Documents

  • The  American Presidency Project:
    • The project was established in 1999 as a collaboration between John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It now includes 100,832 documents related to the study of the Presidency.

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