John Eastman, Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
Dr. John C. Eastman is Founding Director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence; Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute; and serves as the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University's Dale E. Fowler School of Law.
From 1996 to 1997 he served as a law clerk with the Honorable Justice Clarence Thomas in the United States Supreme Court. After concluding his clerkships, Dr. Eastman took a position with Kirkland & Ellis in Los Angeles until 1999.
Upon leaving Kirkland & Ellis, Dr. Eastman took up his current post, teaching at Chapman University where he served as dean from 2007 to 2010. He also founded the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence in 1999, and has served as its Director since that time.
Dr. Eastman also serves as the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, and is on the Advisory Board for the St. Thomas More Society of Orange County. He has been recognized by Chapman University as Professor of the Year (2002) and for Faculty Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activity (2013). Additionally, he received the St. Thomas More Award from Franciscan University (2010) and the J. Reuben Clark Award from the J. Reuben Clark Society of Orange County (2010).
Dr. Eastman is a prolific author. A selection of his scholarly publications include “The Moral Conditions of Liberty” in Freedom and the Rule of Law (2009), “The Roberts Court and Federalism,” in the New York University Journal of Law and Liberty (2009), and “Full Faith and Republican Guarantees: Gay Marriage, FMPA, and the Courts,” in the BYU Law Journal (2006).
Dr. Eastman has been invited several times to address various committees of Congress, on topics including President Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration and the IRS’s felonious disclosure of tax returns.
In the courtroom, Dr. Eastman has represented seventeen parties before the Supreme Court of the United States. He has also represented over 75 amici before the Supreme Court in cases such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (2014), Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell (2014), Harris v. Quinn (2014), National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning (2014), National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012), Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000).
Dr. Eastman has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, BBC World News, and PBS. His writings and commentary on the courts and the constitution have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Review, Economist, Atlantic, Slate, National Catholic Register, and ABA Journal.
Dr. Eastman received his B.A. from the University of Dallas, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Claremont Graduate School. He completed his studies at the University of Chicago Law School, earning his J.D. in 1995 and immediately took a position clerking for Judge Michael Luttig in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Tom Caso, Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
Professor Caso received his B.A. in Political Science from La Verne College, his J.D. from University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, and completed his studies with an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University. From 1979 to 2007, Professor Caso served in various capacities at the Pacific Legal Foundation, ending his tenure as senior vice president and chief counsel. During this time, he organized and managed an extensive legal team, litigating nationwide primarily in state and federal appellate courts, finding success at every level of the state and federal court system, including the United States Supreme Court.
Professor Caso has represented many amici before the Supreme Court in cases such as Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., and Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
Professor Caso’s recent scholarship includes “Can States Require Proof of Citizenship for Voter Registration?—Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona” in the Federalist Society’s Journal, Engage (2013). Bloomberg News also published his op-ed, “The Supreme Court’s World Class Blunder in Arizona Voter Case,” in June 2013. Organizations including New York University Law School and the Constitutional Law Colloquium have invited Professor Caso to present on subjects such as “Compelling the Conscience,” “Affirmative Action in College Admissions,” “The President’s Power to Preempt,” and “The Supreme Court and the Contraceptive Mandate.”
Tom Hungar, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Thomas G. Hungar is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. His practice focuses on appellate litigation, and he assists clients with congressional investigations and complex trial court litigation matters as well. He has presented oral argument before the Supreme Court of the United States in 26 cases, including some of the Court’s most important patent, antitrust, securities, and environmental law decisions, and he has also appeared before numerous lower federal and state courts.
Mr. Hungar served as General Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives from July 2016 until January 2019, when he rejoined the firm. As General Counsel, he provided legal advice and litigation representation on a non-partisan basis to the House and its leadership, members, officers, and staff, and he worked closely with numerous House committees in connection with their oversight and investigative activities. Previously, he served as a Deputy Solicitor General of the United States. In that position, he supervised business-related appellate litigation for the federal government, with particular emphasis on patent, antitrust, securities, and environmental appellate cases, and he also oversaw appellate litigation in banking, bankruptcy, tax, government contracts, communications, copyright, labor, trademark, and international trade matters. In private practice, Mr. Hungar’s appellate experience has encompassed those areas as well as class actions, constitutional law, employment law, product liability, administrative procedure, insurance coverage and bad faith, and general commercial litigation. He has handled scores of business-related appeals in the Supreme Court and lower appellate courts, and has briefed and argued many high-profile matters.
Lisa Blatt, Williams & Connolly LLP
Lisa Blatt serves as Chair of Williams & Connolly’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice. Lisa has argued 40 cases before the United States Supreme Court, prevailing in 37. The National Law Journal has called her a "visionary" and one of "the 100 most influential lawyers in America." Bloomberg has described her as a "legendary high court litigator" while The National Journal likewise has referred to her as a "SCOTUS legend." Lisa’s appellate work has been highlighted by multiple publications and has earned her rankings in Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation, The Legal 500, and Washingtonian magazine. In 2020, Benchmark Litigation selected Lisa as one of the “Top 10 Women in Litigation” in the United States.
Lisa has argued and briefed numerous appeals on a wide range of business law issues in federal and state courts of appeal. The American Lawyer Litigation Daily has twice named her "Litigator of the Week" – for her work in Price v. Philip Morris, Inc. in overturning reinstatement of a $10 billion verdict against client Philip Morris in a "light" cigarette case, and in SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Abbott Laboratories, a landmark case on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline finding that the Equal Protection Clause bars peremptory challenges of jurors based on sexual orientation. Most recently, Lisa represented Marvin Gaye’s heirs in their copyright dispute over the hit songs “Got To Give It Up” and “Blurred Lines,” and the Washington Redskins football team in its dispute with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the team's trademarks.
Lisa also brings substantial experience with the pharmaceutical industry. Her Supreme Court arguments include prevailing in Astra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara County, which concerned alleged violations of drug pricing rules under the Section 340B program; and serving as lead counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in Sorrell v. IMS Health, a landmark decision granting pharmaceutical manufacturers a First Amendment right to market their drugs. Her Supreme Court cases also have addressed a broad range of issues, involving healthcare, antitrust, civil procedure, preemption, employment and ERISA, bankruptcy, and national security.
Ed Meese, The Heritage Foundation
Edwin Meese III is the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based public policy research and education institution. He is also the past Chairman of Heritage’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and former Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, California. In addition, Mr. Meese lectures, writes, and consults throughout the United States on a variety of subjects.
Mr. Meese served on the Iraq Study Group and the National War Powers Commission, and was recently a member of the Congressionally established Counterterrorism Review Commission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Mr. Meese is the author of With Reagan: The Inside Story, which was published by Regnery Gateway in June 1992; co-editor of Making America Safer, published in 1997 by The Heritage Foundation; and co-author of Leadership, Ethics and Policing, 2nd Edition published by Prentice Hall in 2009.
Mr. Meese served as the 75th Attorney General of the United States from February 1985 to August 1988. As the Nation’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, he directed the Department of Justice and led international efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime. In 1985, he received the Government Executive magazine’s annual award for excellence in management.
From January 1981 to February 1985, Mr. Meese held the position of Counsellor to the President, the senior position on the White House Staff, where he functioned as the President’s chief policy advisor.
As Attorney General and as Counsellor, Mr. Meese was a member of the President’s Cabinet and the National Security Council. He served as Chairman of the Domestic Policy Council and of the National Drug Policy Board.
Mr. 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 Advisor for the Reagan-Bush Committee.
Formerly, Mr. Meese 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, Mr. Meese served as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, California.
From 1977 to 1981, Mr. Meese was a professor of law at the University of San Diego, where he also was Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Management.
In addition to his background as a lawyer, educator and public official, Mr. Meese has been a business executive in the aerospace and transportation industry, serving as Vice President for Administration of Rohr Industries, Inc. in Chula Vista, California. He left Rohr to return to the private practice of law, engaging in corporate and general legal work in San Diego County.
Mr. Meese is a graduate of Yale University, Class of 1953, and holds a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a retired Colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He is active in numerous civic and educational organizations.
Mr. Meese is married, has two grown children and resides in McLean, Virginia.
Ed Whelan, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Edward Whelan is the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He directs EPPC’s program on The Constitution, the Courts, and the Culture. His areas of expertise include constitutional law and the judicial confirmation process. As a contributor to National Review Online’s Bench Memos blog, he has been a leading commentator on nominations to the Supreme Court and the lower courts and on issues of constitutional law. He has written essays and op-eds for leading newspapers (including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post), opinion journals, and academic symposia and law reviews. The National Law Journal has named Mr. Whelan among its “Champions and Visionaries” in the practice of law in D.C.
Mr. Whelan is co-editor of three volumes of Justice Scalia’s work: Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived (Crown Forum, 2017), a New York Times bestselling collection of speeches by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer (Crown Forum, 2019), a collection of Justice Scalia’s writings on faith and religion; and The Essential Scalia: On the Constitution, the Courts, and the Rule of Law (Crown Forum, 2020), a collection of Justice Scalia’s views on legal issues.
Mr. Whelan, a lawyer and a former law clerk to Justice Scalia, has served in positions of responsibility in all three branches of the federal government. From just before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, until joining EPPC in 2004, Mr. Whelan was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice. In that capacity, he advised the White House Counsel’s Office, the Attorney General and other senior DOJ officials, and departments and agencies throughout the executive branch on difficult and sensitive legal questions. Mr. Whelan previously served on Capitol Hill as General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. In addition to clerking for Justice Scalia, he was a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In 1981 Mr. Whelan graduated with honors from Harvard College and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1985 from Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Harvard Law Review.
Chuck Cooper, Cooper and Kirk PLLC
Charles J. Cooper is a founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC. Named by The National Law Journal as one of the 10 best civil litigators in Washington, he has over 35 years of legal experience in government and private practice, with several appearances before the United States Supreme Court and scores of other successful cases on both the trial and appellate levels. Mr. Cooper has represented some of the biggest names in American politics, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions in response to the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and former National Security Adviser and United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.
Shortly after serving as law clerk to Judge Paul Roney of the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit Court of Appeals, and to Justice (later Chief Justice) William H. Rehnquist, Mr. Cooper joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1981. In 1985 President Reagan appointed Mr. Cooper to the position of Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. Mr. Cooper reentered private practice in 1988, as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of McGuire Woods. From 1990 until the founding of Cooper & Kirk in 1996, he was a partner at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge where he headed the firm’s Constitutional and Government Litigation Group.
Mr. Cooper’s practice is national in scope and is concentrated in the areas of constitutional, commercial, and civil rights litigation. He is currently representing private clients in a variety of commercial cases, including antitrust, intellectual property, and contract disputes. Mr. Cooper also represents a number of state and local government bodies, as well as private clients, in a wide range of constitutional and federal statutory cases.
In 1998 Mr. Cooper was appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve as a member of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Mr. Cooper is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and he has spoken and published extensively on a wide variety of constitutional and legal policy topics.
Noel Francisco, Former Solicitor General of the United States
Noel John Francisco served as the 48th Solicitor General of the United States from September 2017 to July 2020.
Prior to joining the Justice Department, he was a partner in the Washington, DC office of Jones Day, where he was the chair of the Firm’s Government Regulation Practice. While at Jones Day, he appeared several times before the Supreme Court, including in McDonnell v. United States, which involved the meaning of “official act” under federal bribery statutes; Zubik v. Burwell, which involved the application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to regulations related to insurance coverage for contraception; and NLRB v. Noel Canning, which involved the Constitution’s recess appointment power. He has also argued numerous cases in the lower federal and state courts on a wide range of constitutional, civil, and criminal matters.
From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Francisco served in the Office of Counsel to the President as Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush, and from 2003 to 2005 he served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel.
Mr. Francisco was raised in Oswego, NY. He received his B.A. with honors in 1991 from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. with high honors in 1996 from the University of Chicago Law School. After law school, Mr. Francisco served as a law clerk to Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit before clerking for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court.