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


Reining In The Administrative State

by Adam J. Whitevia PolicyEd
Thursday, June 14, 2018

The administrative state has increasingly grown powerful in day-to-day governance as the Congress, and the judicial branch has voluntarily ceded power over time. As a result, we have seen new regulations with minimum oversight and transparency. While the administrative state is an unavoidable consequence of our complex world, the administrative state must realign its interests with the public and the rule of law.


Laboratories Of Liberty

by Adam J. Whitevia The Weekly Standard
Friday, June 8, 2018

John Rutledge was a natural first-round pick for the Supreme Court. An accomplished statesman and patriot, Rutledge was a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, where he chaired the crucial Committee on Detail. Once the new federal government was in place, President Washington made Rutledge the second justice ever appointed to the nation’s highest court.


A New NAFTA Can Help Reform The Administrative State

by Adam J. Whitevia City-Journal
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Working in tandem with the White House, federal agencies are moving swiftly to reform the administrative state that President Trump inherited from President Obama. The White House’s semiannual "Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions," released in early May, outlines federal agencies' efforts to reduce their own excessive regulatory burdens and to streamline their own processes for granting federal infrastructure permits.


Privilege And Precedent

by Stuart Taylor, Adam J. Whitevia The Weekly Standard
Friday, May 11, 2018
Special counsel Robert Mueller wants to talk to the president. With the pitched battle of words forever escalating—Trump’s new team of gloves-off lawyers and his vocal supporters pitted against the special counsel’s own proponents in the media—many exude confidence in Mueller’s power to subpoena the president’s testimony, assuming the eventual backing of the Supreme Court.

Prosecutorial Fraud Arrives At The Supreme Court

by Adam J. Whitevia The Weekly Standard
Monday, May 7, 2018

In Sierra Pacific v U.S., the court can undo an injustice committed by the DoJ.

Analysis and Commentary

Ethics In The Executive Branch: The Constitutional Need To Preserve Presidential Energy

by Adam J. Whitevia Texas Review of Law & Politics
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

One of the pleasures of speaking to a Federalist Society audience is that I can always feel comfortable starting with first principles. So, when the subject at hand is “ethics in the executive branch,” I thought it would be good to begin by recognizing that the Framers expected—or at least hoped—that the executive branch would exemplify high ethical standards.

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Red Tape All the Way Down

by Adam J. Whitevia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 20, 2018

In redressing the excesses of the regulatory state, the Trump administration has made a healthy start. Now the administration needs to keep at it.


The Dimaya Decision Was More Than Gorsuch V. Trump

by Adam J. Whitevia The Weekly Standard
Thursday, April 19, 2018

It was a technical decision about vague language and due process, and Gorsuch quoted Scalia in his concurrence.

Law and Justice

‘We The Corporations’ Review: Liberty, Incorporated

by Adam J. Whitevia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, April 8, 2018

A law professor writes that American courts had been debating the “rights” of corporations long before the Citizens United decision. Adam J. White reviews “We the Corporations” by Adam Winkler.


We Need Special Court Procedure For The Removal Of Special Counsels

by Adam J. White quoting Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, March 26, 2018

As President Trump intensifies his attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, his critics intensify their calls on Congress to legislate statutory removal protections limiting the president’s and Justice Department’s ability to fire Mueller. Such a legislative push is probably futile—and rightly so. Instead, Congress should focus on another aspect of this issue: namely, legislating the process by which the courts would hear a lawsuit challenging the firing of a special counsel.