Presidential Determination

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A Presidential Determination is a document issued by the White House stating a determination resulting in an official policy or position of the executive branch of the United States government. Presidential determinations may involve any number of actions, including setting or changing foreign policy,[1] setting drug enforcement policy,[2] or any number of other exercises of executive power.

One of the most famous presidential determinations was President Clinton's Presidential Determination 95-45, which exempted the US Air Force's facility in the vicinity of Groom Lake, Nevada (commonly called Area 51) from environmental disclosure laws, in response to subpoenas from a lawsuit brought by Area 51 workers alleging illegal hazardous waste disposal which resulted in injury and death.[3] Subsequent to this determination, the lawsuit was dismissed due to lack of evidence.

A presidential determination is distinguished from an executive order, which is a specific directive issued by the President of the United States to part of the executive branch.


  1. "Suspending Restrictions on U.S. Relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization". White House. 1996. Retrieved 2007-07-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2007". White House. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-12. Retrieved 2007-07-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Presidential Determination on Classified Information Concerning the Air Force's Operating Location Near Groom Lake, Nevada" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. 1995. Retrieved 2009-04-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>