Edward Whelan

Distinguished Senior Fellow and Antonin Scalia Chair in Constitutional Studies

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.

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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.

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Abortion and Precedent

Edward Whelan

Judge Roberts’s chief strategic objective in his confirmation hearing was to secure the support of Chairman Specter — a vocal…

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National Review Online / September 19, 2005

The Roberts Hearing

Edward Whelan

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee begins its hearing on President Bush’s nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the…

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National Review Online / September 12, 2005

A Model of Judicial Restraint, Not Activism

Edward Whelan

THE DEATH OF Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and President Bush’s nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to succeed…

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Los Angeles Times / September 6, 2005

Quarreling About Quotas

Edward Whelan

Over the past two dozen years, John Roberts has advanced from being a junior lawyer in the attorney general’s office…

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National Review Online / August 5, 2005

Gross Distortions

Edward Whelan

From 1981 to 1982, John Roberts, fresh out of his clerkship with then-Justice Rehnquist, served as a special assistant to…

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National Review Online / July 29, 2005

The Ginsburg Record and Standard

Edward Whelan

At her 1993 confirmation hearing, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, invoking her ethical obligation as a judge to maintain both the fact…

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National Review Online / July 26, 2005

Ed Whelan Debates Nan Aron on MSNBC

Edward Whelan

EPPC President Edward Whelan debated against Nan Aron, the head of the liberal group Alliance for Justice, on MSNBC’s Connected:…

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Abortion and Justice

Edward Whelan

Amidst all the speculation about John Roberts’s views on abortion, I am certain that Roberts will not be a “pro-life”…

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National Review Online / July 22, 2005

The Appropriate Role of Foreign Judgments in the Interpretation of American Law

Edward Whelan

United States House of RepresentativesCommittee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the ConstitutionHearing on “H. Res. 97 and the Appropriate Role…

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Are You an Originalist?

Edward Whelan

President Bush’s promise to appoint originalist justices like Scalia and Thomas invites the question: What is this peculiar creature, the…

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National Review Online / July 13, 2005

Judicial Jeopardy

Edward Whelan

As I have previously outlined, if Alberto Gonzales were appointed to the Supreme Court in the near future, he would…

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National Review Online / July 8, 2005

President's Prerogative

Edward Whelan

The letter from Senate Democrats urging President Bush to “consult meaningfully with Senators on both sides of the aisle [on…

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National Review Online / June 24, 2005

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