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

Will Obama ever learn economics from Reagan?

by Edwin Meese IIIvia USA Today
Friday, July 22, 2011

We'd like to suggest that President Obama take a closer look at how President Reagan dealt with that "economic hardship," and how he steered the nation toward what would turn into its longest peacetime economic expansion...

Ronald Reagan, champion of freedom

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fifty-five years ago, freedom reigned for a brief moment in Communist Hungary. On October 23, 1956, student protesters marched through the streets of Budapest demanding an immediate end to their Soviet-dominated government.

Analysis and Commentary

Ronald Reagan, champion of freedom

by Edwin Meese IIIvia CNN.com
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today, with a statue in the appropriately named Freedom Square in Budapest, Hungarians will honor the man who helped secure their freedom at last from Communist rule...

Analysis and Commentary

Submission to the ICC on Jurisdiction and the Palestinian Declaration

by David Davenport, Kenneth Anderson, Edwin Meese III, Abraham D. Sofaer, Julian G. Kuvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Here is a letter to Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor, International Criminal Court...

In the News

Closing the Door on Innovation: Why One National Curriculum is Bad for America

by John E. Chubb, David Davenport, Richard A. Epstein, Williamson M. Evers, Robert P. George, David R. Henderson, Edwin Meese III, Michael McConnell, Shelby Steele, Herbert J. Walbergvia K12Innovation.com
Monday, May 9, 2011

A Critical Response to the Shanker Institute Manifesto and the U.S. Department of Education’s Initiative to Develop a National Curriculum and National Assessments Based on National Standards...

Analysis and Commentary

A president of great vision and leadership

by Edwin Meese IIIvia San Diego Union-Tribune
Sunday, February 6, 2011

...[Reagan's] leadership skills and personality, and his willingness to share credit with others for anything that had been achieved, enabled him to become one of our nation’s most outstanding presidents...

Analysis and Commentary

Reagan took advantage of being underestimated

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Washington Examiner
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Many political opponents thought he would be an easy mark. But his overwhelming victories in the four elections he won revealed the folly of such suppositions...

Analysis and Commentary

His vision revived the spirit of America

by Edwin Meese IIIvia USA Today
Monday, January 24, 2011

...[M]ost historians rate [Ronald Reagan's] two terms as a remarkable period of success and hold him up as the example against which subsequent presidents are measured. He stands today as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history...

A Criminal-Law Crisis

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The incoming House majority has promised to change the way that business is done in Washington — to look out for the average American and for small business.

Analysis and Commentary

A Criminal-Law Crisis

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Corner (National Review Online)
Monday, December 13, 2010

The incoming House majority has promised to change the way that business is done in Washington — to look out for the average American and for small business. It faces one of its first opportunities to do so this month, when the new members select the proposed rules that will govern the House...