Landmark Executive Orders: Presidential Leadership Through Unilateral Action

Adam L. Warber, Yu Ouyang, Richard W. Waterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Scholars focusing on landmark congressional legislation have not categorized executive orders as similar to legislation passed by Congress, although they have the same legal standing. It is clear that some executive orders have a greater impact than others and thus observers view them as being of greater importance. Ronald Reagan used executive orders to alter the manner in which agencies established regulations, creating a process of administrative central clearance that delegated considerable power to the Office of Management and Budget over the agency regulatory process. Truman used an executive order to desegregate the military. In this article, we examine those orders that are of a level of importance commensurate with landmark legislation, and, using expert scholarly opinion, we discuss and analyze orders that meet these criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-126
Number of pages17
JournalPresidential Studies Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress


  • executive orders
  • presidential leadership
  • unilateral presidency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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