Walter Olson

Senior Fellow

Walter Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies and is known for his writing on law, public policy, and regulation. His first book, The Litigation Explosion, was one of the most widely discussed general‐​audience books on law of its time. It led the Washington Post to dub him an “intellectual guru of tort reform.” His books since then have stirred discussion on topics ranging from workplace law to mass litigation to the state of the law schools. He is known as founder and principal writer of the longest‐​running blog on law, Overlawyered, which ran from 1999 to 2020. He has advised many public officials from town councils to the White House and is active in civic affairs in his home state of Maryland, having been named by Gov. Larry Hogan as co‐​chair of commissions aimed at ending the practice of gerrymandering. He is often interviewed for his expertise on elections and redistricting law.

Before joining Cato, Olson was associated with the Manhattan Institute and American Enterprise Institute and was an editor at the magazine Regulation, then edited by Antonin Scalia. Olson’s more than 400 broadcast appearances include most leading media outlets, the BBC, and Oprah.

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