Edward Whelan

Edward Whelan

Distinguished Senior Fellow and Antonin Scalia Chair in Constitutional Studies


Contact: ewhelan@eppc.org


Edward Whelan is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and holds EPPC’s Antonin Scalia Chair in Constitutional Studies. He is the longest-serving President in EPPC’s history, having held that position from March 2004 through January 2021.

Mr. Whelan 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. The National Law Journal has named Mr. Whelan among its “Champions and Visionaries” in the practice of law in D.C.

Mr. Whelan is co-editor of three volumes of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s work: Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived  (Crown Forum, 2017), a New York Times bestselling collection of speeches by Justice Scalia; On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer  (Crown Forum, 2019), a collection of Justice Scalia’s writings on faith and religion; and The Essential Scalia: On the Constitution, the Courts, and the Rule of Law  (Crown Forum, 2020), a collection of Justice Scalia’s views on legal issues.

Mr. Whelan, a lawyer and a former law clerk to Justice 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.

For more on Mr. Whelan’s background, see this interview.

Vile Smear of Justice Alito

Published in National Review Online on April 23, 2020

Let’s Break Off the Engagement

Published in Cato Unbound on September 20, 2016

Ground Beef

Published in National Review - August 1, 2016 issue on July 29, 2016

Zombie Justices Reign Supreme

Published in Polizette on July 14, 2015

Bench Memos Turns Ten

Published in National Review Online on May 12, 2015

Injudicious Ginsburg

Published in National Review Online on February 19, 2015

The Senate and the Courts

Published in The Weekly Standard on September 25, 2014

Murphy’s Law

Published in National Review on June 27, 2014

Falling Down on the Job

Published in Weekly Standard on February 17, 2014

Non-Discrimination Principles Versus Civil Liberties

Published in United States Commission on Civil Rights on March 1, 2013

EPPC President Ed Whelan on CNN

Published in CNN on February 2, 2013

Scouting’s Suicide

Published in New York Post on February 1, 2013

EPPC’s Supreme Court Amicus Brief in Proposition 8 Marriage Case

Published in United States Supreme Court on January 29, 2013

Federalism and Marriage

Published in National Review on December 31, 2012

Marriage at Stake

Published in National Catholic Register on December 12, 2012

The Basics on the DOMA Case

Published in National Review Online on December 10, 2012

The Activism to Come

Published in National Review on December 3, 2012

Some Initial Thoughts

Published in National Review Online on June 28, 2012

The President Comes Out

Published in National Review Online on May 10, 2012

Can Marriage Be Saved?

Published in National Review Online on July 23, 2011

House of Representatives Testimony on Defending Marriage

Published in Congressional Testimony on April 15, 2011

Should Supreme Court proceedings be televised? No

Published in CQ Researcher on January 14, 2011

Don’t Defend, Don’t Appeal?

Published in The Weekly Standard on October 30, 2010

A Reckless False Alarm

Published in National Law Journal's Supreme Court Insider on November 2, 2010

Don't Defend, Don't Tell

Published in Public Discourse on October 15, 2010