Reading Room Document
Presidential Authority to Order the Removal of the Original Engrossed Constitution From the Library of Congress
The custody of the original engrossed Constitution of the United States is now vested by statute in the Library of Congress, and no statute authorizes the President to interfere with that custody or to prescribe rules governing it. Therefore, an executive order authorizing the removal of the Constitution from the Library of Congress could neither compel such removal nor make it legal. The OLC does not provide release dates for its opinions, so the release date listed is the date on which the opinion was authored. The original opinion is available at www.justice.gov/file/20671/download.
The OLC's Opinions
Opinions published by the OLC, including those released in response to our FOIA lawsuit