Defining Ideas

Defining Ideas

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When Judges Make Law

by William Sutervia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Judicial activism can unleash a host of unintended consequences. 

Hobby Lobby vs. the Contraceptive Mandate

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 7, 2014

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority should have been more principled in its defense of religious liberty.

Podcast: Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court
The Arab Spring in Egypt

Dictatorship By Demand

by Samuel Tadrosvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Reflections on the revolution Egypt. 

Wrong on Abortion Picketing

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 30, 2014
The Supreme Court elevates intellectual sophistication above common sense.

The Language of Despotism

by Bruce Thorntonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Words are the first victims of tyranny and aggression at home and abroad. 


With its distinct intellectual assets and ongoing programs of policy-oriented research, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University is a uniquely distinguished contributor to the marketplace of ideas.

Defining Ideas builds on the strength of Hoover’s research: publishing on-line the original work of Hoover fellows and affiliated scholars, as well as that of task force and working group members, whose scholarship lies within the fields of economics, history, law, and political science.

This online journal is the result of our concerted efforts to be part of America’s most important conversations, conveying to the public and to lawmakers an in-depth understanding of key public policy issues. Crucial to this effort is a commitment to develop enduring solutions for the challenges that face our nation and our world—in effect, to advance ideas defining a free society.

Throughout history, ideas have had consequences for the human condition, both beneficial and detrimental. The Hoover Institution’s working groups have been convened to promote ideas that advance freedom, peace, and prosperity. Defining Ideas is intended to illuminate the work of these groups.



While Defining Ideas welcomes comments from readers, we exercise the right to monitor the comments we receive. We will not publish comments that include obscenities, swear-words and vulgarisms; ad hominem attacks; racist expression; rudeness or discourtesy; violations of copyright; or any other transgression of taste or civility that the editors deem unpublishable on a Hoover Institution Web site. We reserve the right, also, to close down comments on a particular essay if the editors believe we have reached "saturation" point.