Presidential Self-Regulation through Rulemaking
President Ford issued Executive Order No. 11905 on February 18, 1976. During the preceding months, congressional committees had been engaged in exhaustive, critical and widely publicized investigations into the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence activities of the government. The Executive Order was a presidential response to the public concern which had been generated by the disclosures resulting from these investigations.
The present article will not pursue the controversy surrounding the intelligence activities of the United States, but will instead explore some of the broader issues raised by the exercise of the President's constitutional powers through actions such as E.O.11905. For purposes of this discussion, presidential actions of general applicability and future effect, such as E.O. 11905, are regarded as "rules," and the process by which they are prepared and issued is regarded as "rulemaking." These terms are borrowed, by analogy, from administrative law; the limits of this analogy will be duly considered.