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. He is also a visiting fellow at the Ashbrook Center (2016–18).

His work on policy appears in a number of places, including a regular column at Forbes.com and regular radio commentaries on the Salem Radio Network and Townhall.com.

He has coauthored two books with his colleague Gordon Lloyd:  Rugged Individualism:  Dead or Alive? (2017) and The New Deal and Modern American Conservatism:  A Defining Rivalry (2013).  Both books offer distinctive ways of understanding both the current and the historic debates 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’s 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

This University's Problems Are A Microcosm Of Washington DC's

by David Davenportvia Washington Examiner
Thursday, May 31, 2018
One of the nation's most successful university presidents, C.L. Max Nikias of the University of Southern California, recently shocked the Trojan community with his abrupt resignation. Although Nikias had been highly successful in raising money and, with it, USC's profile and reputation, he had also presided over the university's mishandling of scandals and crises.
Featured

Connecticut Joins The Quiet Campaign To Undermine Constitutional Presidential Elections

by David Davenportvia Washington Examiner
Monday, May 21, 2018

Both houses of the Connecticut legislature recently passed the National Popular Vote Bill, which now sits on the desk of Gov. Dannel Malloy, who is expected to sign it. With his approval, Connecticut will join a quiet campaign to undo the Electoral College by means of a clever end run rather than a proper constitutional amendment.

Analysis and Commentary

David Davenport: A Dismal National ‘‘Report Card’’

by David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Thursday, May 10, 2018

The US Department of Education recently released national test scores for American 4th and 8th grade students in math and reading. They call it the “Nation’s Report Card.” I call it a dismal failure, no better than a D.

Analysis and Commentary

Don't Let 16-Year-Olds Rock The Vote

by David Davenportvia Washington Examiner
Thursday, May 3, 2018

Since the “March for Our Lives” student demonstrations over gun violence on school campuses, the question of lowering the voting age to 16 has come to the fore. The Washington city council is now considering a proposal to do just that, and similar bills have recently been introduced in Georgia and Minnesota.

Analysis and Commentary

David Davenport: The Senate Is Broken

by David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Former President James Buchanan called the United States Senate “the greatest deliberative body in the world.”  But Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, recently complained that he hasn’t even been able to get a vote on a single legislative amendment in his first 15 months on the job.

Featured

Democrats Finally Discover Federalism

by David Davenportvia Washington Examiner
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

After decades of neglect, a federalism bandwagon is rolling across the country, carrying not only conservatives who have long believed in states’ rights, but also gathering up progressives who are out of power in Washington and have rediscovered the appeal of localism. In fact, many of today’s big political battles are, at their base, a federalism tug of war pitting the federal government against state and local governments.

Featured

The Coming War In Data Privacy Is From Europe Not Washington

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

While Mark Zuckerberg has been busy defending Facebook over data collection and privacy, a much more ominous threat is quietly coming from Europe. The European Union is implementing tough new standards on data privacy with stiff fines for violators. What many don’t realize is that these rules do not apply only to European companies, but to anyone who has data from Europeans.

Analysis and Commentary

David Davenport: Questions About Walls

by David Davenportvia Townhall
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
President Trump loves walls—besides a border wall with Mexico, he wants to erect trade walls to protect American steel and aluminum with tariffs of 25 and 10 percent, respectively.
Analysis and Commentary

David Davenport: Will The U.S. Be Prosecuted In The International Criminal Court?

by David Davenportvia Townhall Review
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

As if President Trump did not face enough legal challenges, there are now two threatened prosecutions of Americans at the International Criminal Court.

Featured

The Senate, The World's Greatest Deliberative Body, No Longer Deliberates

by David Davenportvia Washington Examiner
Monday, April 2, 2018

Former President James Buchanan called the Senate “the greatest deliberative body in the world,” a moniker that has stuck for 150 years. But as he left Washington for the Senate’s two-week Easter recess, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., reflecting on his inability to get a vote on even one legislative amendment in his first 15 months on the job, said something quite different: “I think it sucks.”

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