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

Featured Commentary

Apparently 90% Of Harvard Faculty Can Agree On Something: Giving To Democrats

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Thursday, May 7, 2015

I guess we now know why William F. Buckley famously said: “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”

Featured Commentary

A Lump Of Coal

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hoover fellow David Davenport discusses President Obama's use and abuse of executive power.

Featured Commentary

Bringing A Little Sanity To Indiana's March (Religious) Madness

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Monday, March 30, 2015

In the current white-hot debates over gay marriage, I submit that what the Indiana and other bills actually do is help manage an important policy dilemma.  As a society, do we value gay rights?  Increasingly the answer is yes.  Do we value religious freedom and practice?  Historically the answer is yes.  We value both, but they do not always live easily together. 

Featured Commentary

Brace Yourself For The Most Important Supreme Court Case Of The Year

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Friday, February 27, 2015

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in its most important case of the year, King v. Burwell.  The case is most obviously significant because it could invalidate subsidies for low income individuals covered by Obamacare in the approximately two-thirds of states that did not establish their own exchanges.

US Ballot Box Image
Featured Commentary

Jeb Bush A 'Reform' Conservative? America Doesn't Need Conservatism Lite

by David Davenportvia Fox News
Friday, February 27, 2015

I am wary of the adjectives Republican presidential candidates like to place in front of the word “conservative.” 

Featured Commentary

Time To Leave Federalizing Of Education Behind

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Washington, D.C. has managed to take the most basic state and local responsibility—K-12 education—and federalize it at breathtaking speed over the last 12 years.  Now, with the signature piece of federalizing legislation, No Child Left Behind, up for reauthorization in Congress, it is time to put the brakes on this failed and misguided federal experiment.

Featured Commentary

The Era Of Big Government Is Back--Or Did It Ever Leave?

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, February 4, 2015

When President Obama introduced his mammoth $4.4 trillion budget this week, he effectively announced that the era of big government is back.  Even his fellow Democrat, Bill Clinton, had famously proclaimed in 1996 that “the era of big government is over.”  This followed Ronald Reagan’s warning in 1981 that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

The Palestinian People
Featured Commentary

Palestinian Statehood: Who Should Decide And How?

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Friday, January 9, 2015

You would think there would be a clear-cut definition and path for establishing a new nation-state.  But in the Alice in Wonderland world called international law, there is not.  And this very uncertainty has created an opening for Palestine to attempt to shift the political balance in the Middle East and pursue a novel “throw enough against the wall in the hope that something will stick” approach to gaining statehood.

Featured Commentary

David Davenport on Townhall.com

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Monday, January 5, 2015

Research Fellow David Davenport discusses the Forbes study of the best and worst states for business on Townhall.com

Interviews

David Davenport on Townhall Radio

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Research Fellow David Davenport discusses the potential for a "liberty moment" in light of the growing disillusionment in the US on Townhall Radio.

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