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. He is also a visiting fellow at the Ashbrook Center (2016).

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

Finally, A Presidential Debate That May Be Interesting And Consequential

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

After more than 50 years of presidential debates, we all know the plot. Two candidates spend untold hours reading briefing books and engaging in mock debate practice sessions so that they can stand on the same stage for a couple of hours, seem knowledgeable and likeable, and most important, not make any big mistakes or gaffes. 

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Davenport: Beware Election Reforms

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A few years ago we reformed primary voting in California. Now we have open primaries, meaning you can vote for candidates of either party, and top two primaries, where the top two vote getters run in the fall general election, regardless of party.

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About The National Debt?

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

In a presidential campaign, it’s amazing that no one is talking about the national debt. Well, actually someone is: the Congressional Budget Office issued a report this summer and we should be shocked.

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Left And Lefter: Beware Election Reforms That Eliminate Voter Choice

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Friday, September 2, 2016

This fall voters in California face a choice in the race for U.S. Senate that is effectively no choice at all. They can vote for the liberal Democrat Loretta Sanchez or the liberal Democrat Kamala Harris. There is no Republican candidate. It’s left or lefter, that’s the choice. 

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: Obama Pursues Nuclear Danger For His Legacy

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Friday, August 19, 2016

It’s the 4th quarter and President Obama wants to put points on his legacy scoreboard. So, reports say he is considering executive actions that would significantly alter America’s nuclear posture.

Analysis and Commentary

Reefer Madness: Both The Feds And The States Are Wrong About Marijuana Policy

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Marijuana is very much in the news. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced this week that, for the fourth time, it is denying a petition to reduce federal restrictions on the use of marijuana. 

Analysis and Commentary

Davenport: Why the Economy Is Not Growing

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A recent report concluded that the federal government added 43 major new regulations last year, increasing regulatory costs by more than $22 billion.  This brings the Obama regulatory record to a stunning 299 major new regulations at a cost greater than $100 billion per year. And expect another surge in President Obama’s final year in office.

Featured

Parties Refuse To Learn The Painful Lesson Of Trump: More Super Delegates

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Monday, August 1, 2016

A primary reason that Donald Trump was able to hijack the Republican party and win its nomination is that Republicans had let down their defenses, essentially eliminating super delegates. So what are the parties doing now going forward? Reducing super delegates even further, leaving their parties more vulnerable to hostile takeovers.

Featured

Cory Booker And The Democrats Distort History For Political Purposes

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Senator Cory Booker (D, N.J.) delivered a fiery sermon at the Democratic Convention Monday night, closing with a classic preacher call and response with the audience: We will rise. But he also played fast and loose with American history, rewriting it to suit his rhetorical needs.

Featured

David Davenport: Separation Of Powers Is Slow But Alive

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Friday, July 15, 2016

Two recent court cases are a welcome reminder that the separation of powers doctrine may be slow to act but is still alive.

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