Ethics & Public Policy Center

Edward Whelan



Edward Whelan is the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He directs EPPC’s program on The Constitution, the Courts, and the Culture. His areas of expertise include constitutional law and the judicial confirmation process. As a contributor to National Review Online’s Bench Memos blog, he has been a leading commentator on nominations to the Supreme Court and the lower courts and on issues of constitutional law. He has written essays and op-eds for leading newspapers (including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post), opinion journals, and academic symposia and law reviews.

In 2011, the National Law Journal named Mr. Whelan among its “Champions and Visionaries” in the practice of law in D.C. The National Law Journal praised Mr. Whelan for “pioneer[ing] the field of legal blogging” and for offering “commentary [that] infuses national debates over judicial nominees, Supreme Court ethics and appellate court decisions—so much so that, when a Senate Republican cites outside research into the record of an Obama nominee, it’s more likely than not that the handiwork is Whelan’s.”

Mr. Whelan, a lawyer and a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has served in positions of responsibility in all three branches of the federal government. From just before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, until joining EPPC in 2004, Mr. Whelan was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice. In that capacity, he advised the White House Counsel’s Office, the Attorney General and other senior DOJ officials, and Departments and agencies throughout the executive branch on difficult and sensitive legal questions. Mr. Whelan previously served on Capitol Hill as General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. In addition to clerking for Justice Scalia, he was a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In 1981 Mr. Whelan graduated with honors from Harvard College and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1985 from Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Harvard Law Review.

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