Hon. Walter E. Dellinger III

Partner & Chair of the Appellate Practice, O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Walter Dellinger is Chair of the Appellate Practice at O'Melveny, heads the Harvard/O'Melveny Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Clinic, and is a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University. He is on leave from his professorship at Duke Law School. Over the past three years, he has argued Alabama v. North CarolinaExxon Shipping Co. v. BakerMorgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, and Heller v. District of Columbia before the US Supreme Court. 

Dellinger served as Assistant Attorney General and head of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) from 1993 to 1996. He was acting Solicitor General for the 1996-97 Term of the US Supreme Court. During that time, Walter argued nine cases before the Court, the most by any Solicitor General in more than 20 years. His arguments included cases dealing with physician-assisted suicide, the line item veto, the cable television act, the Brady Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the constitutionality of remedial services for parochial school children. 

His other recent successful arguments before the US Supreme Court include Jackson v. Birmingham School DistrictBrown v. Legal Foundation of WashingtonUS Airways v. Barnett,Utah v. EvansHunt v. Cromartie, and Hunt v. Easley. His recent Court of Appeals and state supreme court arguments include Martha Stewart v. United StatesWhiteside v. United States,Exxon v. AlabamaLCI v. Phillips, and Bank of America v. Miller

He has served as Special Counsel to the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange in connection with the NYSE's transformation into a publicly held company and its acquisition of an electronic trading company. 

After serving in early 1993 in the White House as an advisor to the President on constitutional issues, Walter was nominated by the President to be Assistant Attorney General. He was confirmed by the Senate in October 1993 and served for three years. As head of the OLC, Walter issued opinions on a wide variety of issues, including: the President's authority to deploy United States forces in Haiti and Bosnia; whether the trade agreements required treaty ratification; and a major review of separation of powers questions. He provided extensive legal advice on questions arising out of the shutdown of the federal government, on national debt ceiling issues, and on loan guarantees for Mexico. 

Walter has published articles on constitutional issues for scholarly journals including the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and the Duke Law Journal, and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, the New Republic, and the London Times. He has been a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Belgium and has given lectures to university faculties in Florence, Siena, Nuremberg, Copenhagen, Leiden, Utrecht, Tilburg, Mexico, and Rio de Janeiro, and has delivered major lectures at Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Michigan, Berkeley, Penn, Duke, Chicago, and other US law schools. He has testified more than 25 times before committees of Congress. 

  • Yale University, J.D., 1966: Editor, Yale Law Journal
  • University of North Carolina, B.A., 1963: with honors; John J. Parker Medal for Leadership; Frank Porter Graham Award as Outstanding Senior

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Publications and Multimedia
Obamacare in the Supreme Court - Event Audio/Video
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group
March 20, 2012
The Government’s Duty to Defend the Law in Court - Podcast
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
October 29, 2010
The Roberts Court and Federalism - Event Audio/Video
2008 National Lawyers Convention
November 21, 2008
25th Anniversary Tribute Video
2007 National Lawyers Convention
November 15, 2007
Congressional Oversight vs. Executive Privilege - Event Audio
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group
February 22, 2007
The Role of Government in Defining Our Culture - Event Audio
2006 National Lawyers Convention
November 18, 2006
Separation of Powers and Foreign Policy
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 3, Winter 2000
March 01, 2000