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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Featured 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?

Featured 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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Featured Commentary

Rugged Individualism Is Exactly The Wrong Case For Obamacare

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Monday, June 15, 2015

President Obama has been heating up the rhetoric about Obamacare as the Supreme Court prepares to announce its decision on whether the whole program might collapse over illegal subsidies. In a press conference, he meddled in the work of the judicial branch, saying the Court should never have taken the case in the first place.

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Featured Commentary

Davenport: Supreme Court Decision Time

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hoover Institution fellow David Davenport on the upcoming decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Featured Commentary

Must God Keep Up With The Times?

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Monday, June 1, 2015

Perhaps you have missed it amid all the heated rhetoric about gay marriage, but seemingly serious people have proposed that henceforth Almighty God—or at least God’s people and churches—must keep up with modern times.

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.

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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.” 

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