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


Antonin Scalia, Legal Educator

by Adam J. Whitevia National Affairs
Thursday, September 21, 2017

"Who do you think I write my dissents for?" Justice Antonin Scalia posed the question to a reporter from New York magazine. In the course of a surprisingly candid 2013 interview, she had asked Scalia about the sharp tone of his judicial opinions, pressing him on the effect that his opinions might have on his colleagues. But Scalia pressed the reporter, in turn, to look beyond the Court for his true audience.


Regulatory Rollback

by Adam J. Whitevia The Weekly Standard
Friday, September 1, 2017

Paging the attorney general: the administrative state won't deconstruct itself.


The Least Dangerous Branch

by Adam J. Whitevia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

With the growth of the administrative state, much of Congress’s policy-making role has been usurped by executive-branch agencies. Adam White reviews ‘Congress’s Constitution’ by Josh Chafetz.

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Energy in the Executive

by Adam J. Whitevia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

President Trump’s executive orders honor the founders’ view that a president should seize the initiative. But such orders represent only the beginning of real change. 


Should We Fear ‘Zombie’ Regulations?

by Sam Batkins, Adam J. Whitevia Cato Institute
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Federal agencies and courts will determine what new rules can be advanced following repeals under the Congressional Review Act.


Is Free Speech Under Threat In The United States?

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Adam J. Whitevia Commentary
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

In April, Commentary asked a wide variety of writers, thinkers, and broadcasters to respond to this question: Is free speech under threat in the United States? We received twenty-seven responses. We publish them here in alphabetical order.


The Justice Department Drains The Slush

by Adam J. Whitevia Commentary
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Today, the Justice Department announced that it is ending the Obama administration’s practice of taking massive sums of money, obtained from settled enforcement cases, and re-routing it to third-party advocacy groups. This is very good news, at two levels.

Analysis and Commentary

Witness To George Will’s Flight From Politics

by Richard Reinsch, Adam J. Whitevia Library of Law and Liberty
Friday, June 2, 2017

In his latest column, George Will laments that conservatism has been “hijacked” by “scowling primitives” and “vulgarians.” A conservatism that once cheerfully and unapologetically embraced “high culture” has been overtaken by a vulgar populism, which defends main-street values against elite liberal cosmopolitans, but which increasingly embodies not intellectual argument but rather, in Lionel Trilling’s words, “irritable mental gestures” masquerading as ideas.


Diplomacy, Distrust, And The Paris Climate Accord

by Adam J. Whitevia Lawfare
Thursday, June 1, 2017

Last August, David Wirth explained to Lawfare’s readers how simple it would be for President Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord’s nonbinding provisions on climate emission reductions: Trump “need not go through a formal withdrawal process, as required by the Agreement and international law. Instead, he need only say, ‘The United States changed its mind.’” Now that President Trump might prove Wirth right, it’s worth asking what the President thinks he is achieving by announcing a national change of mind.


In Bipartisan Reform Of The APA, Is There “Fertile Ground Here To Actually Get Something Done”?

by Adam J. Whitevia Yale Journal on Regulation
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Senators Portman and Heitkamp introduced legislation to significantly reform and modernize the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946. There is much to be written about this version of the “Regulatory AccountabilityAct,” including its provision for replacing Auer deference with a Skidmore.