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Pritzker Legal Research Center

Federal Administrative Law

A guide to researching federal regulations, agency decisions and Presidential documents.


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Executive Orders and Proclamations

The most common types of presidential documents are executive orders and proclamations.  Both are published in the Federal Register and numbered sequentially as they are issued.  All presidential proclamations and executive orders are compiled annually and published in Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations. 

Executive Order from Federal Register


Compilations of Presidential Documents

The Compilation of Presidential Documents consists of all the official publications of materials released by the White House Press Secretary including proclamations, executive orders, speeches, press conferences and releases, announcements and other Presidential materials.  Since 2009 this compilation has been published daily and prior to 2009 it was a weekly publication.  The daily and weekly compilations are then published as the Public Papers of the President. 

Signing Statements

When signing or vetoing a bill a President may issue a signing statement.  Most of these signing statements simply provide general commentary on the purpose of the law.  Occasionally signing statements are more controversial as when a President declares his intent to ignore certain provisions that he believes to be unconstitutional or provides commentary on how he will direct federal agencies to enforce the law.  Presidential signing statements can be found in the Compilation of Presidential Documents, Public Papers of the President and some compiled legislative histories.