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Presidential Signing Statements Research Guide

This guide is a starting point for researching presidential signing statements and their significance in the U.S. legal system.


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Scholarly Articles

The articles below are from scholarly publications, such as law reviews and academic journals, listed in reverse chronological order. Where available, links are given to the articles on the Internet or in subscription databases.

  • Faith J. Jackson, The Constitutionality of Presidential Signing Statements: A Note on H.R. 5993,The Presidential Signing Statements Act of 2008, 35 J. of Leg. 1 (2009)
  • Neil Kinkopf & Peter M. Shane, Signed Under Protest: A Database of Presidential Signing Statements, 2001-2009, Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 141 (Version 2.0).
  • Michael J. Berry, Controversially Executing the Law: George W. Bush and the Constitutional Signing Statement, 36 Congress & the Presidency 244 (2009).
  • Christopher S. Kelley & Bryan W. Marshall, Assessing Presidential Power: Signing Statements and Veto Threats as Coordinated Strategies, 37 Am. Pol. Res. 508 (2009).
  • Sofia E. Biller, Note, Flooded by the Lowest Ebb: Congressional Responses to Presidential Signing Statements and Executive Hostility to the Operation of Checks and Balances, 93 Iowa L. Rev. 1067 (2008). Lexis Westlaw.
  • Michael T. Crabb, Comment,"The Executive Branch Shall Construe": The Canon of Constitutional Avoidance and the Presidential Signing Statement, 56 Kan. L. Rev. 711 (2008).Lexis Westlaw.
  • I-Wei Wang, Schoolhouse Rock Is No Longer Enough: The Presidential Signing Statements Controversy and Its Implications for Library Professionals, 100 Law Libr. J. 619 (2008).Lexis Web
  • Nicholas J. Leddy, Note, Determining Due Deference: Examining When Courts Should Defer to Agency Use of Presidential Signing Statements, 59 Admin. L. Rev. 869 (2008). Lexis Westlaw.
  • Malinda Lee, Comment, Reorienting the Debate on Presidential Signing Statements: The Need for Transparency in the President's Constitutional Objections, Reservations, and Assertions of Power, 55 UCLA L. Rev. 705 (2008). Lexis Westlaw.
  • Kristien G. Knapp, Note, Resolving the Presidential Signing Statement Controversy: New York State as a Separation of Powers Laboratory, 6 Cardozo Pub. L. Pol'y & Ethics J. 737 (2008).Lexis Westlaw.
  • Jeremy M. Seeley, Note, How the Signing Statement Thought It Killed the Veto; How the Veto May Have Killed the Signing Statement, 23 BYU J. Pub. L. 167 (2008). Lexis Westlaw.
  • Symposium: The Last Word? The Constitutional Implications of Presidential Signing Statements, 16 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 1-314 (2007). Includes the following articles and others:
    • Neal Devins, Signing Statements and Divided Government, 16 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 63 (2007). Lexis Westlaw.
    • Saikrishna Prakash, Why the President Must Veto Unconstitutional Bills, 16 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 81 (2007). Lexis Westlaw.
    • Nelson Lund, Signing Statements in Perspective, 16 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 95 (2007). Lexis Westlaw.
    • Michele Estrin Gilman, Litigating Presidential Signing Statements, 16 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 131 (2007). Lexis Westlaw.
    • Louis Fisher, Signing Statements: Constitutional and Practical Limits, 16 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 183 (2007). Lexis Westlaw.
    • Phillip J. Cooper, Signing Statements as Declaratory Judgments: The President as Judge, 16 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 253 (2007). Lexis Westlaw.
    • Christopher S. Kelley, A Matter of Direction: The Reagan Administration, the Signing Statement, and the 1986 Westlaw Decision, 16 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 283 (2007). Lexis Westlaw.
    • Neil Kinkopf, Signing Statements and Statutory Interpretation in the Bush Administration, 16 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 307 (2007). Lexis Westlaw.
  • Note, Context-Sensitive Deference to Presidential Signing Statements, 120 Harv. L. Rev. 597 (2006). Lexis Westlaw.
  • Curtis A. Bradley & Eric A. Posner, Presidential Signing Statements and Executive Power, 23 Const. Comment. 307 (2006) Lexis Westlaw.
  • Louis Fisher Signing Statements: What to Do?, The Forum: Vol. 4: No. 2, Article 7 (2006).
  • Steven G. Calabresi & Daniel Lev, The Legal Significance of Presidential Signing Statements, The Forum: Vol. 4: No. 2 Article 8 (2006).
  • Phillip J. Cooper, George W. Bush, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Use and Abuse of Presidential Signing Statements, 35 Presidential Stud. Q. 515 (2005).
  • Kristy L. Carroll, Comment, Whose Statute Is It Anyway?: Why and How Courts Should Use Presidential Signing Statements When Interpreting Federal Statutes, 46 Cath. U.L. Rev. 475 (1997). Lexis Westlaw.
  • Christopher N. May, Presidential Defiance of "Unconstitutional" Laws: Reviving the Royal Prerogative, 21 Hastings Const. L.Q. 865 (1994). Examines several methods presidents use to defy legislation they deem unconstitutional, including signing statements. Westlaw
  • Christine E. Burgess, When May a President Refuse to Enforce the Law? 72 Tex. L. Rev. 631 (1994). Discusses signing statements as one mechanism presidents use in refusing to enforce laws they deem unconstitutional. Lexis Westlaw .
  • William D. Popkin, Judicial Use of Presidential Legislative History: A Critique, 66 Ind. L.J. 699 (1991). Lexis Westlaw.
  • Kathryn Marie Dessayer, Note, The First Word: The President's Place in "Legislative History," 89 Mich. L. Rev. 399 (1990). Argues that Presidential documents, including messages, proposals, and legislative drafts, are relevant to statutory interpretation because of the President's legislative role. Lexis Westlaw.
  • Frank B. Cross, The Constitutional Legitimacy and Significance of Presidential "Signing Statements," 40 Admin. L. Rev. 209 (1988).
  • Marc N. Garber & Kurt A. Wimmer, Presidential Signing Statements as Interpretations Of Legislative Intent: An Executive Aggrandizement Of Power, 24 Harv. J. on Legis. 363 (1987).Westlaw
  • Brad Waites, Note, Let Me Tell You What You Mean: An Analysis of Presidential Signing Statements, 21 Ga. L. Rev. 755 (1987). Lexis Westlaw .

Short Articles

This section presents select recent brief news articles, as well as opinion pieces. The articles are listed below in reverse-chronological order.