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Public Policy

Librarian for Public Policy & Urban Planning

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Kelsey Brown
Subjects: Public Affairs


What is an Excecutive Order?

A unilateral proclamation by the president that has a binding effect. Members of Congress have challenged some executive orders on the grounds that they usurped the authority of the legislative branch. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that particular orders have exceeded the president's authority, it has upheld others as falling within the president's general constitutional powers.

From: Executive Order. (2001). In American Congressional dictionary. Washington: CQ Press. Retrieved May 8, 2009, from CQ Press Electronic Library, CQ Congress Collection,

What is a Presidential Proclamation?

A presidential proclamation or endorsement is a national stamp of approval for cultural events, national monuments, public works projects, charity drives, interest groups, special weeks and days. Such proclamations promote national concern of worthy organizations and causes by showing the president attaches importance to the object of the proclamation.

From: Proclamations and Endorsements. (2008). In The Presidency A to Z. Washington: CQ Press. Page 426.


Since 1936, executive orders and proclamations have been published the Federal Register and then compiled in the Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Prior to that, they were compiled in a variety sources. Below is list in chronological order of the sources for executive orders and proclamations.

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Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents

The official publication of presidential statements, messages, remarks, and other materials released by the White House Press Secretary.

Public Papers of the President

Began in 1957, each volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period.