M. Edward Whelan III

President, Ethics and Public Policy Center

M. Edward Whelan III 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 Memosblog on judicial nominations and constitutional law, he was a leading commentator on the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Whelan, a lawyer and a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin 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.

Mr. Whelan also previously worked as Senior Vice President and Counselor to the General Counsel for Verizon Corp. and as a lawyer in private practice.

Mr. Whelan lives with his wife Deborah and their children in Arlington, Virginia.


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.

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Upcoming Events
The Roberts Court at Ten Years
Long Island Lawyers Chapter
September 14, 2015
Religious Liberty Panel
Chicago Student Chapter
October 14, 2015
Publications and Multimedia
Should Federal Law Enjoy a Presumption of Constitutionality? - Audio/Video
Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
June 24, 2015
Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar - Post-Argument SCOTUScast
SCOTUScast 2-5-15 featuring Erik Jaffe and Ed Whelan
February 05, 2015
Judicial Campaign Fundraising and the Supreme Court: Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar - Podcast
Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
January 22, 2015
Changing the Rules: The Senate Filibuster - Podcast
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
December 19, 2013
Judicial Activism - Podcast
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group
June 04, 2010
The Sotomayor Nomination, Part III
Online Debate
July 17, 2009
The Sotomayor Nomination, Part II
Online Debate
July 13, 2009
The Sotomayor Nomination, Part I
Online Debate
July 09, 2009
Judicial Independence Dialogue - Audio/Video
2008 National Lawyers Convention
November 21, 2008
Supreme Court Term
Online Debate
June 27, 2008
Judicial Confirmations - Event Audio/Video
Professional Responsibility Practice Group and DC Lawyers Chapter
January 31, 2008
Abigail Alliance v. von Eschenbach
Online Debate
October 29, 2007
Gonzales v. Carhart: Its Aftermath and Implications for Abortion Regulation and Jurisprudence - Event Audio/Video
Religous Liberties Practice Group, The American Constitution Society, and The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
June 14, 2007
The U.S. Attorney Controversy - Event Audio
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group
March 27, 2007
Congressional Oversight vs. Executive Privilege - Event Audio
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group
February 22, 2007