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, Mr. Whelan has been a leading commentator on nominations to the Supreme Court and the lower courts and on issues of constitutional law. In his Confirmation Tales newsletter, he draws lessons from his three decades of experience in judicial-confirmation battles.

Mr. Whelan 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 him 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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Not Credible "Whatsoever"

Edward Whelan

Among the many challenges that new White House counsel Fred Fielding will face on judicial nominations is ensuring that the…

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National Review Online / January 10, 2007

Rites and Wrongs

Edward Whelan

Tuesday’s beautiful state funeral for former president Gerald R. Ford at the Washington National Cathedral was, as the Washington Post…

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National Review Online / January 4, 2007

A View from the Bench

Edward Whelan

The Myth of Judicial Activism Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions by Kermit Roosevelt III , Yale, 262 pp., $30…

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Don't Despair

Edward Whelan

The Democrats’ capture of formal control of the Senate is bad news for President Bush’s judicial nominations — especially to the…

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National Review Online / November 9, 2006

George Soros's Two Left Hands

Edward Whelan

In August 2004, according to this article in the liberal New Yorker, “a clandestine summit meeting took place at the…

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National Review Online / October 12, 2006

Happy 20th Anniversary, Justice Scalia!

Edward Whelan

Twenty years ago today, President Ronald Reagan executed the presidential commission appointing Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court. Twenty years…

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National Review Online / September 25, 2006

Another Fein Mess

Edward Whelan

**Mr. Whelan’s essay was originally published as a reply to a lengthy letter from Bruce Fein that is available here.**…

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National Review Online / August 24, 2006

Not Qualified

Edward Whelan

With its lurch leftwards in recent decades, the American Bar Association can no longer plausibly claim to be a nonpartisan…

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National Review Vol. 58 No. 15 / August 28, 2006

Shut Up, They Explained

Edward Whelan

Captured for the past two decades by the left, the American Bar Association leverages its clout as a professional services…

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Hamdan and Judicial Lawlessness

Edward Whelan

From National Review Online’s same-day symposium on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hamdan military-commissions case: “At the heart of…

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National Review Online / June 30, 2006

Lowering the Bar

Edward Whelan

If there were a list of lawyers least suited to assess Brett Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve as a judge on…

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The Meta-Nonsense of Lawrence

Edward Whelan

**Note:  This essay responds to Jamal Greene’s Lawrence and the Right to Metaprivacy. Jamal Greene’s interesting essay deals not with…

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