Executive Order 13233
A new executive order issued by President George W. Bush (Presidential Records Act Executive Order 13233) restricts access to the records of former presidents. The Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association (ALA) and The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) urge librarians to alert their patrons and the public about this effort to close the public record.
Librarians should do this by creating an exhibit of significant historical works that would not have been published or written had the order been in effect, and by providing their patrons with a list of these works: Ongoing List of Historical Works That Would Have Been Affected by Executive Order 13233
See also Amicus Brief and Motion
Amicus Brief (2005)
Dallas Morning News article SMU Asked to Reject Bush Library reports that "archivists and historians are asking Southern Methodist University to reject the proposed George W. Bush Library unless the Executive Order gutting the Presidential Records Act is repealed." See also Ongoing List of Historical Works That Would Have Been Affected by Executive Order 13233 (February 2007).
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Press Releases, Amicus Brief and Motion, and Additional Sources
Amicus Brief and Motion
Amicus Brief (2005)
For more information about the Presidential Records Act, Bush Executive Order 13233, and the lawsuit to overturn the Order, you can visit the following Web sites: Lawsuit Prompts White House to Release Reagan-Bush (July 19, 2002)
“The Bush White House blocked release of the Reagan records in early 2001 and then issued an executive order in November 2001 that claimed to give former presidents and vice presidents, as well as the incumbent president, the power to veto the release of records by claiming ‘executive privilege.’ After Public Citizen and a coalition of historians and journalists filed a lawsuit in December challenging the executive order, the White House approved release of most of the 68,000 pages of Reagan records in March, but 150 pages that were considered especially sensitive were held back for further review, which resulted in another four months of delay in their release.”
Links to non-ALA sites have been provided because these sites may have information of interest. Neither the American Library Association nor the Office for Intellectual Freedom necessarily endorses the views expressed or the facts presented on these sites; and furthermore, ALA and OIF do not endorse any commercial products that may be advertised or available on these sites.
Related FilesAmicus Brief Executive Order 13233 (PDF File)
Motion to Leave for File Amicus Brief Executive Order 13233 (PDF File)
Ongoing List of Historical Works That Would Have Been Affected by Executive Order 13233 (PDF File)