Edwin Meese III

Awards and Honors:

Edwin Meese was formerly a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. He served as the seventy-fifth attorney general of the United States from February 1985 to August 1988.

Meese is also a distinguished fellow and holder of the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation; a regent emeritus of the National College of District Attorneys; and a member of the board of trustees of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. He received a Bradley Prize in 2012.

Before serving as US attorney general, he was counselor to the president from 1981 to 1985. In this capacity he functioned as the president's chief policy adviser and had management responsibility for the administration of the Cabinet, policy development, and planning and evaluation. During the time he held these positions, Meese was also a member of the president's cabinet and the National Security Council.

Meese headed the president-elect's transition effort following the November 1980 election. During the presidential campaign, he served as chief of staff and senior issues adviser for the Reagan-Bush committee.

Formerly he served as Governor Reagan's executive assistant and chief of staff in California from 1969 through 1974 and as legal affairs secretary from 1967 through 1968. Before joining Governor Reagan’s staff in 1967, Meese served as deputy district attorney of Alameda County, California.

From 1977 to 1981, Meese was a professor of law at the University of San Diego, where he was also director of the Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Management.

In addition to his background as a lawyer, educator, and policy official, Meese has been a business executive in the aerospace and transportation industry. He is also the author or coauthor of two books, With Reagan: The Inside Story (Regnery Gateway, 1992) and Leadership, Ethics and Policing (Prentice Hall, 2004).

He is active in numerous civic and educational organizations and a retired colonel in the US Army Reserve.

Meese is a graduate of Yale University (1953) and holds a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

How to fraud-proof elections

by Edwin Meese III, J. Kenneth Blackwellvia USA Today
Sunday, November 2, 2014

Reforms to make voting more convenient have opened up opportunities to game system.

Healthcare Costs
Analysis and Commentary

Kasich Is Wrong about Reagan

by Edwin Meese IIIvia National Review Online
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The president wouldn't have supported this Medicaid expansion.

California Capitol
Analysis and Commentary

Decision Imperils Initiative Process

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Sacramento Bee
Sunday, July 7, 2013

The "win at all cost" push by advocates of same-sex marriage in California has now yielded aSupreme Court decision that has done much more than leave in place a decision by a single federal judge invalidating the votes of more than 7 million Californians.

The Statue of Liberty.

Hoover fellow Meese discusses immigration on Newsmax TV

by Edwin Meese IIIvia NewsMax
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Edwin Meese, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, in talking about the current immigration bill, notes that we should not repeat the mistakes of 1986.

Ronald Reagan
Analysis and Commentary

We’ve Seen the Effect of “Amnesty” Before

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Foundry
Thursday, May 16, 2013

Experts can’t always predict exactly how public policy will affect the nation, despite our best efforts. But when it comes to immigration policy, we have tried many of the types of reforms advocated by today’s Gang of Eight—so we should consider the effects these reforms had in the past.

Prime Minister Margaret thatcher

Meese discusses Margaret Thatcher on WND radio

by Edwin Meese IIIvia WND - World Net Daily
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Edwin Meese, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution who served as the seventy-fifth attorney general of the United States, discusses how Margaret Thatcher inspired Reagan and how, when Reagan found that he and Thatcher had similar ideas, they joined forces.

Analysis and Commentary

Topic A: What Does the Supreme Court's Health-Care Decision Mean?

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Washington Post
Friday, June 29, 2012
Analysis and Commentary

Still lost on the Law of the Sea Treaty

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Reagan wouldn't sign it, and what was bad for the U.S. then is bad now...

Secure Solution

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Advancing a Free Society
Saturday, April 7, 2012

The detention and interrogation facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which I have visited, has served and continues to serve an important role in the war against terrorists since it opened a decade years ago.

Guantánamo Bay Naval Station

Secure Solution

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 6, 2012

The offshore detention facility is safe, humane—and indispensable. By Edwin Meese III.