Leonard Leo

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Leonard Leo
Born1965 (age 52–53)
EducationCornell University (BA, JD)
Known forExecutive Vice President of the
Federalist Society for Law and
Public Policy Studies
Political partyRepublican

Leonard A. Leo (born 1965) is an American lawyer who currently serves as executive vice president of the Federalist Society.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Leo was born on Long Island, New York in 1965.[2] He attended Cornell University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1986, and working as an intern in the office of Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).[2] Leo completed a law degree at Cornell Law School in 1989, then clerked for federal judge A. Raymond Randolph of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[3][2]

While studying law at Cornell, Leo founded a student chapter of the Federalist Society in 1989, and subsequently went to work for the Society in 1991 in Washington, D.C.[2]


Leo served as National Co-Chairman of Catholic Outreach for the Republican National Committee, and as the 2004 Bush presidential campaign's Catholic Strategist. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and the United States Senate to three terms on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.[4] He has been a U.S. Delegate to the UN Council and UN Commission on Human Rights as well as the Organization of Security and Cooperation and World Health Assembly. Leo has served as an observer at the World Intellectual Property Organization and as a member of the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO.

Leo organized efforts in support of the John Roberts and Samuel Alito U.S. Supreme Court confirmations.[5][6] He received the 2009 Bradley Prize.[7]

Leo has been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Huffington Post.[8][9][10] He is a board member of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast and a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.[11][12]

In 2016, after the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Leo helped arrange funding to rename George Mason University's Law School the Antonin Scalia Law School.[13] Leo was also identified by 2017 Supreme Court-nominee Neil Gorsuch as the person who first contacted Gorsuch about the possibility of President Donald Trump appointing Gorsuch to the seat vacated by Scalia's death.[14]


  • Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House (Simon & Schuster, 2004), co-editor


  1. ^ "Leonard A. Leo". Federalist Society. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Toobin, Jeffrey (April 17, 2017). "The Consevtive Pipeline to the Supreme Court". The New Yorker. New York. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  3. ^ Lipton, Eric; Peters, Jeremy (March 18, 2017). "In Gorsuch, Conservative Activist Sees Test Case for Reshaping the Judiciary". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  4. ^ Prodromou, Elizabeth; Leo, Leonard (July 1, 2011). "Protecting Religious Freedom Abroad". Harvard International Review. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  5. ^ Kirkpatrick, David (July 22, 2005). "A Year of Work to Sell Roberts to Conservatives". New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  6. ^ Cook, Robin (Fall 2006). "Confirmation of High Court Justices Akin to Political Campaign, Leo Says". UVA Lawyer. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Bradley Prize recipient Leonard Leo begins chairmanship of religious-freedom commission". Bradley Foundation. July 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  8. ^ Leo, Leonard (January 9, 2006). "Thirty Questions for Alito: Finality and Fallibility". New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  9. ^ Leo, Leonard; Argue, Donald (April 12, 2010). "Nigeria's Descent Into Religious Strife". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  10. ^ Leo, Leonard (January 19, 2011). "Confronting China's Failure on Religious Freedom". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  11. ^ "A Judicial Renaissance? The Trump Administration & the Future of the Federal Judiciary- Leonard Leo". Acton Institute. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  12. ^ "Leonard Leo receives religious liberty's highest honor - Becket". Becket. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  13. ^ Sloan, Karen (March 31, 2016). "George Mason Law School To Become Antonin Scalia School of Law". The National Law Journal. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  14. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt; Carl Hulse, Charlie Savage, and Adam Liptak, "Partisanship Runs High at Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing", New York Times, March 20, 2017 2:03 pm. Retrieved 2017-03-20.

External links[edit]