Adam J. White

Research Fellow

Adam J. White is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, where he also teaches Administrative Law. He writes widely on the administrative state, the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and regulatory policy, with special focus on energy policy and financial regulation. 

He was recently appointed to the Administrative Conference of the United States, a federal advisory board focused on improving federal agencies' practices. He also serves on the leadership council of the American Bar Association's Administrative Law Section; on the executive committee of the Federalist Society's Administrative Law Practice Group; and on the board of directors of LandCAN, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting conservation on working lands.

His articles appear in The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, and other publications, and he is a contributing editor for National Affairs, City Journal, and The New Atlantis. He previously practiced law at Boyden Gray & Associates PLLC and Baker Botts LLP, litigating regulatory and constitutional issues. After graduating from the University of Iowa and Harvard Law School, he clerked for Judge David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. 

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Recent Commentary


Law’s Attrition, Virtue’s Abnegation

by Adam J. Whitevia Yale Journal on Regulation
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

In September, I was one of several scholars invited to give some short remarks on Adrian Vermeule’s controversial and challenging book, Law’s Abnegation, at the Villanova Law School. After I posted my remarks to a personal web site, Professor Chris Walker very kindly invited me to cross-post them here.

“Law’s Attrition”—Some Thoughts On Vermeule’s Book, “Law’s Abnegation”

by Adam J. White
Monday, December 3, 2018

In September, I was one of several scholars invited to give some short remarks on Adrian Vermeule’s controversial and interesting book, Law’s Abnegation. Here are my remarks, as prepared for the event.


‘John Marshall’ Review: Chief Among Equals

by Adam J. Whitevia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, November 30, 2018

In the Supreme Court, precedents loom large—and so do predecessors. In the court’s august hallways and rooms can be seen portraits of eminent justices from the past. Chief Justice John Roberts is particularly mindful of their watchful eyes, as he observed in a 2007 speech. “In the places of honor,” he said, referring to one of the court’s conference rooms, “are John Jay, the first chief justice, and John Marshall, the greatest.” He added: “As they are looking down upon me, I am looking up to them.”


“Bad Men” And The “Better Angels of Our Nature”

by Adam J. Whitevia The American Mind
Thursday, November 8, 2018

To readers of the New York Packet, Alexander Hamilton’s Publius justified the proposed Constitution’s Electoral College as guaranteeing “a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” Unlike in state elections, Publius claimed, the presidency would not fall to men with “[t]alents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” and “[i]t will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue.”

Policy BriefsFeatured

Adam White On How The Unelected Judiciary Prevents The Tyranny Of The Majority

by Adam J. Whitevia PolicyEd
Friday, September 28, 2018

Majority rule is a critical part of democracy, but without legal protections minority groups could be subject to abuses by the majority. Courts and the judicial branch play an important role in protecting their rights and limiting the excesses that would otherwise happen.


The Democrats' "Flight 93" Nomination

by Adam J. Whitevia The Weekly Standard
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As the Senate considers Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 30 years ago, senators find themselves asking a basic question familiar to all lawyers: Who bears the burden of proof—the accuser or the accused?


‘The Most Dangerous Branch’ Review: Judging The Judges

by Adam J. Whitevia The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

[Subscription Required] When a Supreme Court justice’s retirement turns American politics on its ear—as Anthony Kennedy’s retirement did this summer—we ought to consider whether the federal judiciary plays too large a role in our political life. Then again, Americans have been debating the Supreme Court’s power from the start.


Show Me Your Science

by Adam J. Whitevia City Journal
Monday, August 6, 2018

You’re entitled to your own opinions, Daniel Patrick Moynihan supposedly said, but not to your own facts. Fair enough—but are you entitled to the government’s facts? The Environmental Protection Agency increasingly thinks so.

Analysis and Commentary

Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Influence

by Adam J. Whitevia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

If all goes according to plan, Brett Kavanaugh will soon join the Supreme Court. But his ideas arrived at the Court well before him.


The Coming Constitutional Storm

by Adam J. Whitevia The Weekly Standard
Monday, July 30, 2018

We are having a “constitutional moment,” so to speak, in two parts. The first is obvious and momentous; the second is less obvious, but perhaps even more significant. The first is Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement and the fight to confirm his successor; the second is a slow-motion collision of profound constitutional powers: those of prosecution, pardon, and impeachment.