« Free Workshops Offered at Dewey Library the Week of February 2-6, 2009 | Main | Reference Resources: Finding Quotations »

Finding Executive Orders

President Obama has already signed several significant Executive Orders since taking the oath of office. But what exactly is an Executive Order?

Without any action from Congress or the House of Representatives, the President can issue orders for certain actions to be taken. This is called an Executive Order and can occur due to certain statutory powers already in place. The governmental archives website defines an Executive Order in more formal terms: ��?Executive Orders are official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government.��? Perhaps the best example of a recent Executive Order made by President Obama was the decision to close the facilities at Guantanamo Bay, made on January 22, 2009.

There are several places one can find the actual text of an Executive Order. Online, the White House’s official site gives a briefing and the full text of the official documents. They also appear daily in the Federal Register since the order itself is received from the President in the Office of the Federal Register. They also appear in Title 3 of the CFR, or Code of Federal Regulations. CFR can be found in Dewey Reference at LAW KJ 70 A3.

Still confused about Executive Orders? Please check out some books we have that can better explain to you what executive orders are all about:

By Order of the President: The Use and Abuse of Executive Direct Action
(Phillip J. Cooper)
KF5053 C578 2002

Executing the Constitution: Putting the President Back into the Constitution
(Christopher S. Kelley, editor)
JK511 E93 2006

Executive Orders and the Modern Presidency: Legislating from the Oval Office
(Adam L. Warber)
JK516 W35 2006

Policy by Other Means: Alternative Adoption by Presidents
(Steven A. Shull)
JK511 S54 2006

Power Without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action
(William G. Howell)
KF5053 H68 2003

Lastly, feel free to contact our Law and Public Administration Bibliographer, Dick Irving at 442-3698 and at rirving@uamail.albany.edu. Or, ask at the reference desk!

Blog post created by Jill Parsons