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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Interview: Ed Whelan, An EPPC Eye On Judicial Confirmations

Edward Whelan

A wide-ranging interview with EPPC President Ed Whelan, in which he discusses the Supreme Court confirmation process, clerking for Justice Scalia, listening to Vin Scully, attending the inauguration of Richard Nixon, and what it was like to work in all three branches of the federal government.

Articles

No Deal on Gorsuch Filibuster

Edward Whelan

The very fact that Senate Democrats have the votes to filibuster Neil Gorsuch shows that they will filibuster any plausible next nominee. So the “deal” that some are floating would simply confer on Democrats a preemptive veto over the next Supreme Court nomination.

Articles

National Review Online / April 4, 2017

A Supreme Successor to Justice Scalia

Edward Whelan

Rocky Mountain native Neil Gorsuch has an impressive judicial record as an originalist.

Articles

National Review Online / January 31, 2017

New York Times Smears Justice Scalia on Science

Edward Whelan

The New York Times‘s erroneous claims about Justice Scalia and science are a case study in its irredeemably irresponsible—indeed, flagrantly know-nothing—smugness.

Articles

National Review Online / January 12, 2017

Antonin Scalia, Disciple of the Word

Edward Whelan

Those who had the privilege of knowing Justice Scalia know him as an exemplar of moral courage, a man who strove to put things right, who wouldn’t be lured away or cowed from doing his duty.

Articles

National Review Online / October 27, 2016

Let’s Break Off the Engagement

Edward Whelan

Is the libertarian cause of “judicial engagement” anything more than camouflage for libertarian judicial activism?

Articles

Cato Unbound / September 21, 2016

Ground Beef

Edward Whelan

A new book offers a sometimes interesting, sometimes tedious assessment of the legacy of Chief Justice Burger’s Supreme Court.

Articles

Celebrating Justice Thomas’s 25 Years on the Supreme Court

Edward Whelan

Justice Clarence Thomas has built a remarkable corpus of work on a broad range of constitutional provisions, including the commerce clause, the First Amendment’s freedom of speech, and the 14th Amendment’s privileges or immunities clause. His separate opinions, both concurrences and dissents, stand as an enduring legacy.

Articles

National Review Online / July 6, 2016

Piecing America’s ‘Fractured Republic’ Back Together

Edward Whelan

No matter their politics, all readers will both learn from and be challenged by Yuval Levin’s framework and insights in his new book The Fractured Republic.

Articles

The Federalist / June 10, 2016

Obama Administration’s Outrageous War on North Carolina

Edward Whelan

An examination of the Justice Department’s claim that North Carolina’s implementation of its recently enacted H.B. 2 would place it in violation of the Civil Rights Act.

Articles

National Review Online / May 12, 2016

Title IX in the Restroom

Edward Whelan

Transgender activism has produced a legal absurdity.

Articles

Fourth Circuit Inflicts Sex Change on Title IX

Edward Whelan

A recent federal appellate court ruling holding that a school must allow a girl who identifies as male to use the boys’ restroom gets nearly everything wrong.

Articles

National Review Online / April 27, 2016

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