Todd Gaziano

In 2014, Todd Gaziano joined Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) as the Executive Director of PLF’s new DC Center and Senior Fellow in Constitutional Law. His legal career includes valuable experience from distinguished government jobs in all three branches of the federal government, positions in the private sector, and as a long-time, nonprofit foundation scholar and leader in the freedom-based public interest legal movement.

Mr. Gaziano has served in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, where he provided advice to the White House and four Attorneys General on constitutional matters, was a chief subcommittee counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was the founding director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. In 2013-2014, he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of an innovative healthcare delivery company and a healthcare IT company. From early 2008 to December 2013, while he was a think-tank scholar and corporate attorney, he also served as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, where he reported on civil rights developments and conducted oversight hearings on and investigations of civil rights agencies.

Mr. Gaziano has been a frequent legal commentator in print, and on radio, broadcast and cable TV programs, before congressional committees, and in many other public settings. During his nearly 17 years at Heritage, Gaziano published scholarly papers, articles and op-eds on constitutional and legal reform topics. Gaziano also worked to foster freedom-based public interest law organizations, increase collaboration between them, and improve their effectiveness. Among other contributions, he helped almost 100 advocates appearing before the Supreme Court prepare for their oral arguments.

Areas of Expertise

Mr. Gaziano specializes in a variety of constitutional issues, Supreme Court and appellate advocacy, and judicial and legal reform.   He has a special interest in the constitutional limits on government, including federalism and the separation of powers and protections for individual rights, such as guarantees of equality under the law for all citizens and economic liberty.  In 2009, he produced and co-authored (with Professor Randy Barnett and Nate Stewart) the first substantial legal paper that questioned the constitutionality of the ObamaCare individual mandate. That paper was later credited as providing the legal framework for the lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court and reinforced limits on Congress’s commerce clause power.

Education, Honors, and Professional Affiliations

Mr. Gaziano is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, where he was selected as a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics.  He clerked for the Hon. Edith H. Jones, Circuit Judge of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Gaziano serves on two of The Federalist Society’s Practice Group Executive Committees (Civil Rights; Federalism and Separation of Powers). He also is on the advisory board of several legal organizations, including The Fund for American Studies Legal Studies Institute and The Texas Review of Law & Politics.