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Presidential Power: Useful References

We have the University of Washington School of Law to thank for parts of this outstanding review of Presidential power.

The Presidency

American Presidency Project homepage banner

Searchable collections of presidential papers, speeches, and other documents. (Hosted by UC Santa Barbara)


U.S. Presidential Documents

Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington, Scool of Law logo

Executive Orders

Julie Percha, Your cheat sheet for executive orders, memorandums and proclamations, PBS NewsHour, Jan. 27, 2017.

Rachel Quester, Executive Order Or Memorandum? Let's Call The Whole Thing An 'Action', NPR, Jan. 30, 2017.

Vivian S. Chu & Todd Garvey, Cong. Res. Service, RS20846,  Executive Orders: Issuance, Modification, and Revocation (2014).

Carrie Johnson, Key Justice Dept. Office Won't Say If It Approved White House Executive Orders, NPR, Jan. 27, 2017.

Dept. of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel (site visited Jan. 30, 2017) ("All executive orders and proclamations proposed to be issued by the President are reviewed by the Office of Legal Counsel for form and legality, as are various other matters that require the President's formal approval.")

Valerie C. Brannon, Cong. Research Serv., LSB 10172, Can a President Amend Regulations by Executive Order? (2018)

Presidential Documents

25th Amendment (Presidential Succession)

Amendment XXV
Twenty-Fifth Amendment Archive (Fordham Law)

Pardon Power


Impeachment of a U.S. President [UW Libraries]

Human Rights Tracker

The Columbia Human Rights Law Review has posted the Trump Human Rights Tracker.

With each day bringing fresh news of a damaging initiative by the President of the United States, it is difficult to keep up with all that the new Administration is doing that threatens human rights. To aid journalists, civil society organizations, and the general public, the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and Columbia Law School’s Rightslink, Human Rights Clinic, and Human Rights Institute have launched this regularly updated tool to keep track of Trump’s actions and their impacts on human rights. It summarizes the action taken by the President, identifies the human rights implications, and provides links to sources where readers can find more detailed analysis.

Valuable Links

Congress is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public. It is presented by the Library of Congress (LOC) using data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Government Publishing Office, Congressional Budget Office, and the LOC's Congressional Research Service.

House of Representatives

  • The House Explained includes information about branches of government, legislative process, committees, rules
  • Kids in the House has information for children and teachers. If you want a quick overview, read the material for high school students.

United States Senate

House Oversight Tracker [Brookings Institution]     For 116th Congress (Jan. 2019–Dec. 2020), lists House Committee hearings and letters to the Administration on various oversight topics, such as Government Operations and Ethics; Energy and Environment; and Criminal Justice and Rule of Law.

Todd Garvey & Daniel J. Sheffner, Cong. Research Serv., R45442, Congress’s Authority to Influence and Control Executive Branch Agencies (2018)

Federal Agencies

Administrative Law Basics

What Is Administrative Law? Short video from UW Tech Policy Lab.

Maeve P. Carey, Cong. Research Serv., IF10003, An Overview of Federal Regulations and the Rulemaking Process (2019)

Special Prosecutors

Sam Williams, The History and Law of Special Counsel, Gallagher Blogs (Aug. 14, 2017)