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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Teddy Kennedy’s Incredible Attack on Alito

Edward Whelan

After a thorough investigation, the American Bar Association unanimously gave Judge Alito its highest rating (“well qualified”) on its criteria…

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National Review Online / January 7, 2006

Deserving Derision

Edward Whelan

Here’s a simple test. Imagine — just hypothetically, of course — that an appellate judge’s position on a complicated question…

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National Review Online / December 12, 2005

Blank Slate

Edward Whelan

I’ve just run across Emily Bazelon’s recent Slate essay “Shoot to Kill.” I’m not a regular reader of Slate‘s legal…

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National Review Online / December 7, 2005

Spin Paper

Edward Whelan

Saturday’s Washington Post article (by Charles Babington) on Judge Samuel Alito and his 1985 memos is among the most biased…

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National Review Online / December 3, 2005

The Right Justice

Edward Whelan

Supporters of President Bush’s nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court shouldn’t get complacent, but the…

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Alito vs. Ginsburg

Edward Whelan

On the basis of a statement he wrote 20 years ago, the New York Times opined Wednesday that Judge Samuel…

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National Review Online / November 17, 2005

Kennedy vs. Alito by Proxy

Edward Whelan

A curious e-mail is making the rounds from Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy’s communications director, Stephanie Cutter, attacking Judge Alito’s response…

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National Review Online / November 15, 2005

Justice Precedent

Edward Whelan

The opening gambit from the Left is to try to paint Judge Alito as someone who, in his 15 years…

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National Review Online / November 1, 2005

Miers's Muddle

Edward Whelan

With the understanding that Harriet Miers’s Spring 1993 speech to the Executive Women of Dallas is just part of the…

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National Review Online / October 26, 2005

Boiling the Frog

Edward Whelan

Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts Are Wrong for America, by Cass R. Sunstein (Basic, 281 pp., $26) From…

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National Review / October 24, 2005

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

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