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.

Mr. Whelan is co-editor of Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived (Crown Forum, 2017), a New York Times bestselling collection of speeches by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

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 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.”

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.


Replacing Justice Souter

Published in Washington Post on May 3, 2009


Harold Koh’s Transnationalism

Published in National Review Online's Bench Memos Blog on May 5, 2009


The Souter Mistake

Published in New York Times on May 1, 2009





Supreme Success

Published in National Review Vol. LX, No. 24 on December 29, 2008


Obama and the Supreme Court

Published in National Review Online on October 29, 2008







Far From Sober

Published in National Review Online on January 23, 2008



Judicial Activism Awards Fixed!

Published in Los Angeles Times on October 24, 2007


Going South on Southwick?

Published in National Review Online on July 12, 2007


The Next Supreme Court Vacancy

Published in National Review on June 21, 2007




Back to the States

Published in National Review Online on May 29, 2007


Supreme Bias

Published in National Review, Vol. 59, No. 8 on May 14, 2007




A Welcome Decision

Published in USA Today on April 19, 2007


Not Credible "Whatsoever"

Published in National Review Online on January 10, 2007


Rites and Wrongs

Published in National Review Online on January 4, 2007



Don't Despair

Published in National Review Online on November 9, 2006


George Soros's Two Left Hands

Published in National Review Online on October 12, 2006



Another Fein Mess

Published in National Review Online on August 24, 2006


Not Qualified

Published in National Review Vol. 58 No. 15 on August 28, 2006






Partisan Ethics

Published in National Review Online on May 17, 2006


A Public Disservice

Published in National Review Online on May 3, 2006


Scalia the Originalist

Published in The University Bookman on March 28, 2006


Droit du Sénateur

Published in The Weekly Standard on March 27, 2006


What It Says

Published in National Review on March 6, 2006



Deserving Derision

Published in National Review Online on December 12, 2005


Blank Slate

Published in National Review Online on December 7, 2005


Spin Paper

Published in National Review Online on December 3, 2005


The Right Justice

Published in National Review, Volume 57, Number 22 on December 5, 2005


Alito vs. Ginsburg

Published in National Review Online on November 17, 2005


Kennedy vs. Alito by Proxy

Published in National Review Online on November 15, 2005


Justice Precedent

Published in National Review Online on November 1, 2005


Miers's Muddle

Published in National Review Online on October 26, 2005


Boiling the Frog

Published in National Review on October 24, 2005


Abortion and Precedent

Published in National Review Online on September 19, 2005


The Roberts Hearing

Published in National Review Online on September 12, 2005



Quarreling About Quotas

Published in National Review Online on August 5, 2005


Gross Distortions

Published in National Review Online on July 29, 2005




Abortion and Justice

Published in National Review Online on July 22, 2005



Are You an Originalist?

Published in National Review Online on July 13, 2005


Judicial Jeopardy

Published in National Review Online on July 8, 2005


President's Prerogative

Published in National Review Online on June 24, 2005




An Unoriginal Argument

Published in National Review Online on May 19, 2005


Playing Make-Believe

Published in National Review Online on May 12, 2005


Brown and Originalism

Published in National Review Online on May 11, 2005


Alien Justice

Published in National Review Online on April 26, 2005


Supreme Confusion

Published in National Review Online on April 13, 2005