About Ed Whelan’s Confirmation Tales
There is the news, and then there are the untold or neglected stories behind the news—stories that might give you a deeper, or even very different, understanding of what happened and why.
For the past three decades, I’ve been immersed, one way or another, in all of the confirmation battles over Supreme Court nominees, beginning with my work as a Senate Judiciary Committee lawyer on President Bill Clinton’s nominations of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993 and Stephen G. Breyer in 1994. I certainly don’t claim to have been a neutral in these battles. But I think that I have some stories to tell, and some reflections to offer, that will be interesting to readers across the ideological spectrum and that will provide some important lessons and insights on such matters as: How has the judicial-confirmation process changed over recent decades? What factors—political, legal, technological, sociological, among them—have driven these changes? What role have good and bad decisions, and plain old luck, played in the process? And what does all of this portend for future confirmation battles?
I’m honored to hold the Antonin Scalia Chair in Constitutional Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. I was a law clerk to Justice Scalia, and I’ve co-edited and published three volumes of his collected works: the New York Times bestselling Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived (2017); On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer (2019); and The Essential Scalia: On the Constitution, the Courts, and the Rule of Law (2020).
Since 2005, I have blogged about confirmation battles and constitutional controversies at National Review Online’s Bench Memos. I invite readers who aren’t already doing so to follow my work there or to sign up for my free email distributions of my blog posts and other writings.
My full bio is available on my Ethics and Public Policy Center page.