There is a false rumor going around that Executive Order 13489 "seals off all of Obama's records". Supposedly, this is how Obama can seal off his school and birth records.
Here's the problem. That Executive Order only affects presidential
records and by the definition in the executive order, records made prior
to being elected president are NOT "presidential records". People who
think that either haven't read the executive order or haven't read the
statute it was amending or haven't done the proper statutory analysis.
Here's what I offer as proof.
The executive order in question states that the archivist must give the
incumbent president notice before disclosing presidential records and
must consult with the administration before releasing the presidential
records of former presidents. The executive order defines "presidential
records" as those defined as such in the "Presidential Records Act".
From that act:
(2) The term "Presidential records" means documentary materials, or any
reasonably segregable portion thereof, created or received by the
President, his immediate staff, or a unit or individual of the Executive
Office of the President whose function is to advise and assist the
President, in the course of conducting activities which relate to or
have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory,
or other official or ceremonial duties of the President. Such term--
(A) includes any documentary materials relating to the political
activities of the President or members of his staff, but only if such
activities relate to or have a direct effect upon the carrying out of
constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the
(B) does not include any documentary materials that are (i) official
records of an agency (as defined in section 552(e) of title 5, United
States Code; (ii) personal records; (iii) stocks of publications and
stationery; or (iv) extra copies of documents produced only for
convenience of reference, when such copies are clearly so identified.
Presidential records must have been:
1) Created during the course of being president
2) Created by the president or his staff or advisers and
3) Created pursuant to official duties as president
So unless school records, birth certificates or other documents that
people seem so interested in were created while Obama was president and
created by him or his staff or advisers and pursuant to his official
duties as president, then they aren't covered by this executive order.
Further even campaign records are not covered by this executive order.
The Presidential Records Act defines campaign records under "personal
(3) The term "personal records" means all documentary materials, or any
reasonably segregable portion thereof, of a purely private or nonpublic
character which do not relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out
of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial
duties of the President. Such term includes--
(A) diaries, journals, or other personal notes serving as the functional
equivalent of a diary or journal which are not prepared or utilized
for, or circulated or communicated in the course of, transacting
(B) materials relating to private political associations, and having no
relation to or direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional,
statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President; and
(C) materials relating exclusively to the President’s own election to
the office of the Presidency; and materials directly relating to the
election of a particular individual or individuals to Federal, State, or
local office, which have no relation to or direct effect upon the
carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or
ceremonial duties of the President.
So no. Obama did not "seal off his records via executive order". Even if
we assume the worst, and that Obama wanted to hide his records in order
to be "electable", that would at best fall under "personal records" and
not "presidential records".
Finally, this executive order only applies to information under the
control of the archivist. It doesn't apply to school records because
they are not under the national archivist's control.