David Davenport

Research Fellow
Biography: 

David Davenport is a research fellow specializing in international law and treaties, constitutional federalism, and American politics and law.

Davenport is the former president of Pepperdine University (1985–2000). Under his leadership, the university experienced significant growth in quality and reputation. Davenport cofounded Common Sense California and the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership. He also served on the board of California Forward, a major bipartisan reform group, and was a member of Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Performance Review Commission. Davenport is a member of two corporate boards as well.

His work on policy appears in a number of places, including a regular column in Forbes.com and regular radio commentaries on the Salem Radio Network and Townhall.com.

He recently coauthored the book The New Deal and Modern American Conservatism, which explains how the New Deal of the 1930s established the framework for today’s US domestic policy and the ongoing debate between progressives and conservatives.

Davenport has also contributed chapters to Hoover books on values in a free society and legal threats to American values and has authored articles in Policy Review on “The New Diplomacy” and “The Politics of Literacy.” Davenport is a popular public speaker, having served for several years as a world affairs lecturer for Crystal Cruises.

Davenport earned a BA with distinction in international relations from Stanford University and a JD from the University of Kansas School of Law, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and earned national and international awards in moot court competitions.

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Recent Commentary

Interviews

David Davenport: Is Saying “American” Now A Problem on Campus?

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hoover Institution fellow David Davenport discusses the “Bias Free Language Guide” the University of New Hampshire recently published.

Featured

Ordinances Banning Public Sleeping Are Unconstitutional Cruel And Unusual Punishment? Seriously?

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Monday, August 17, 2015

At first I didn’t even read the story about whether laws against the homeless sleeping in public places violated the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.  I figured it was just one more crazy story to filter out in the effort to retain my sanity when reading our local paper, the San Francisco Chronicle.

Analysis and Commentary

Making Sense Of The Republican Presidential Race: It's Like Major League Baseball In August

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How do you make sense of a Republican presidential race with 17 candidates running 15 months before the election? It’s a lot like making sense of the Major League Baseball season in August, two months before the World Series. My logic parallels that of former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda who said: “There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.”

Analysis and Commentary

Language Police At University Of New Hampshire: Saying 'American' Is Now Politically Incorrect

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Thursday, July 30, 2015

No wonder many Americans question the value of sending their kids to universities for four years. Oh wait, I better not say “Americans” since, at least at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), that is now a “problematic” word.

Analysis and Commentary

Elites And Courts Push America Into A Post-Christian Era

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

“My country ‘tis of Thee, sweet land of Secularity” will be our new national hymn as America enters the uncharted territory of a post-Christian era. Long known as “a Christian nation,” the U.S. has turned sharply in a secular direction, thanks to the trickle-down influence of elites and handed-down dictates from courts. This historic shift will affect everything from elections to education to ethics and beyond.

Davenport: California Raisins And The New Deal 7-15-15

by David Davenport
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

For those discouraged over other late-term Supreme Court decisions, you might have missed one they got right. The Court held that taking a farmer’s raisins as part of a New Deal-era price support and subsidy program was a “taking” under the 5th amendment of the Constitution and had to be compensated.

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Analysis and Commentary

The Supreme Court's Newly Invented Right To Equal Dignity And The Problems It Will Cause

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, July 8, 2015

In case you missed it, Justice Kennedy and the majority of the Supreme Court invented a new constitutional right when they overruled bans on same sex marriage.

David Davenport
Interviews

Davenport: Roberts Moves From Umpiring To Batting On Healthcare

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Monday, July 6, 2015

Hoover Institution fellow David Davenport discusses Chief Justice Roberts and the Affordable Care Act.

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Analysis and Commentary

Why Has Chief Justice Roberts Moved From Umpiring To Batting On Healthcare?

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Could someone please remind Chief Justice John Roberts of his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee in his confirmation hearings in 2005?

Analysis and Commentary

The Supreme Court Removes One Raisin Of The Smothering New Deal Legacy

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

According to conventional U.S. history texts, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal ended sometime in the late 1930’s. Unfortunately, that is one more urban myth that needs to be exposed on Snopes.com. To our detriment, the New Deal is alive and well, still serving as the basic framework for U.S. domestic and economic policy.

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