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

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.

Featured

Gaming The Election: Little-Known Efforts To Tip Elections Are Underway

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

“Vote early and often” is a cynical joke attributed to three different Chicagoans: gangster Al Capone and former mayors William Hale Thompson and Richard J. Dailey. Unless it’s the Major League All-Star ballot, which you can apparently submit 35 times, you can’t vote often, but nowadays in most states you can vote early.

Analysis and Commentary

So You Think You Know About The Fourth Of July? Try This Quiz

by David Davenportvia Newsweek
Monday, July 4, 2016

When we celebrate the Fourth of July with a three-day weekend vacation, picnics and fireworks, we sometimes forget the real meaning of the holiday. The quiz below provides an opportunity for you to test and refresh your civic knowledge of the landmark occasion in American history that we celebrate. 

Featured

Two Court Cases Remind Us That Ours Is Not An 'Instant Grassification' Constitution

by David Davenportvia Forbes
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

As I drove down a California freeway, I saw a truck hauling sod to someone’s new yard. But it was the sign on the truck that really caught my attention: “Instant Grassification.” Although we live in an instant gratification society, that is precisely the opposite of what the founders sought to establish in our Constitution.

Analysis and Commentary

How Much Do You Know About The Declaration Of Independence?

by David Davenport, Gordon Lloydvia Idaho Statesman
Friday, June 24, 2016

When we celebrate the Fourth of July with a three-day weekend vacation, picnics and fireworks, we sometimes forget the real meaning of the holiday. The quiz below provides an opportunity for you to test and refresh your civic knowledge of the landmark occasion in American history that we celebrate.

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