Edwin Meese III

Awards and Honors:
Biography: 

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

New Start: What Would Reagan Do?

by Edwin Meese III, Richard Perlevia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, December 2, 2010

The late president would never have supported a treaty undermining U.S. missile defenses...

New START: What Would Reagan Do?

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, December 2, 2010

By Edwin Meese III and Richard Perle

A united conservative movement

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The conservative movement won a resounding victory Tuesday.

Analysis and Commentary

A united conservative movement

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Politico
Monday, November 8, 2010

The challenges to the founders’ vision of a free America are greater than ever. We must work together to restore constitutional government and the rule of law. The conservative movement can now all unify around that sentiment — and so can all the American people...

Why Obama stumbled

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, November 8, 2010

Two years ago, Americans witnessed what pundits then confidently called a generational liberal ascendancy. In their minds, the ideas of the right had been tried and found wanting.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Obama stumbled

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Chicago Tribune
Sunday, November 7, 2010

So how did it all go so wrong for President Obama and this newest "New Deal"...? President Obama's mistake — like that of President Jimmy Carter and, to a lesser extent, President Bill Clinton — is...they failed to understand the American people...

Analysis and Commentary

The Constitution and crime

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Washington Times
Thursday, September 16, 2010

We proudly celebrate Constitution Day every Sept. 17. But, increasingly, these celebrations are tinged with concern that our constitutional heritage is being eroded...

Prop. 8 ruling ignores precedent, evidence and common sense

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Even some who support same-sex marriage worry that, in striking down California's voter-approved proposition defining marriage as between one man and one woman, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker went too far. They are right -- and not the only ones who should be concerned.

Analysis and Commentary

Prop. 8 ruling ignores precedent, evidence and common sense

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Washington Post
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Even some who support same-sex marriage worry that, in striking down California's voter-approved proposition defining marriage as between one man and one woman, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker went too far. They are right...

Analysis and Commentary

Restoring 'peace through strength'

by Edwin Meese IIIvia Washington Times
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We call on elected officials, candidates for office and others who share these principles to join us in advancing them and, thereby, in restoring the time-tested practice of promoting international peace through American strength...

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