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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Senator Wyden’s Vile Attack on Federal Judiciary

Edward Whelan

Ed Whelan’s Bench Memos dive into the serious nature of accusations on the Federal Judiciary by Senator Wyden.

Articles

National Review Online / February 17, 2023

WaPo Mis-Explains Israeli Judicial-Reform Proposal

Edward Whelan

In his Bench Memos, Ed Whelan expands on the judicial-reform proposal and WaPo’s incorrect account of it.

Articles

National Review Online / February 15, 2023

EPPC Amicus Brief in Case Challenging FDA Approval of Abortion Pill

Edward Whelan

Ed Whelan announces his amicus brief filed on behalf of EPPC in the pending challenge of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine against the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill.

Articles

National Review Online / February 10, 2023

Ruth Marcus’s Critique of Originalism Is Bunk

Edward Whelan

Her critique is rife with confusions, straw men, and empty epithets.

Articles

National Review Online / December 8, 2022

Lithwick Mocks Slate’s Readers on 303 Creative Oral Argument

Edward Whelan

This is not a mistake that just happens. It’s an artful distortion.

Articles

National Review Online / December 5, 2022

Servants of the Constitution

Edward Whelan

The triumph of the conservative legal movement.

Articles

National Review / July 18, 2022

Comment on Memphis Center for Reproductive Health v. Slatery

Edward Whelan

The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.

Articles

Courting Assassination

Edward Whelan

On what legitimate theory can the dissenting justices continue to dawdle?

Articles

National Review / June 8, 2022

Alito Makes Masterful Argument to ‘Overturn’ Roe v. Wade

Edward Whelan

Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center is a masterful account of why Roe v. Wade was wrong from the start and why it should be jettisoned. For liberals shocked by the prospective ruling, and for conservatives who thought it might never happen, it’s worth taking a look at Alito’s clear reasoning.

Articles

The New York Post / May 3, 2022

Outstanding Draft Majority Opinion in Dobbs

Edward Whelan

Above all, the superb quality of the draft is compelling evidence that it is genuine.

Articles

National Review Online / May 3, 2022

With Jackson Nomination, Senate Republicans Have an Opportunity

Edward Whelan

If Senate Republicans assess Ketanji Brown Jackson on the basis of judicial philosophy, and don’t succumb to political pressure because of her race and sex, they will responsibly fulfill their constitutional duty to advise and consent.

Articles

CNN / February 25, 2022

EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow Ed Whelan on the Supreme Court Vacancy

Edward Whelan

In this exclusive Q&A, Ed Whelan, who directs EPPC’s program on the Constitution, the Courts, and the Culture, discusses the effort to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

Interviews

 

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