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Guide to Law Online: U.S. Federal

Executive Branch

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Aerial view of the White House and Old Executive Building, Washington, D.C.. [Between 1980 and 2006]. Carol M. Highsmith Archive. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The executive branch consists of the president, vice president, and the federal agencies. A president may be elected to two four-year terms.

The following links to government and non-government websites provide access to free online legal resources related to the executive branch of the United States government.

Executive Branch Documents

A federal law may delegate the authority to issue rules and regulations to implement the law to the appropriate executive department or agency within the federal government. These regulations are initially published (both in proposed and final form) in the Federal Register, the daily publication of the executive branch. The general and permanent rules are subsequently codified, by subject or issuing agency, and published in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is updated annually.

Executive orders are signed and published directives from the President of the United States regarding the management and operation of the federal government. They have the force of law and can be amended, revoked, and superseded. They are initially published in the Federal Register, the daily publication of the executive branch, and then codified in Title 3 (The President) of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Presidential documents issued by the President of the United States include executive orders, proclamations, national security directives, and memoranda. The resources listed below include these documents, in addition to speeches and remarks, interviews, communications to the U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies, and more.