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Tag Archives: David Davenport

David Davenport: Popular Vote Power Play


Democrats are frustrated that they have lost the presidency in the Electoral College twice in the 21st century.  But instead of amending the Constitution, they are going to courts and state legislatures.

Four lawsuits claim that votes for the losing candidate in a winner-take-all electoral vote are not counted equally as required by the 14th Amendment.  Of course all the votes are counted at the state level, as the Constitution provides, so this should be a losing argument, but these days who knows?

At the same time they seek to pass the National Popular Vote Bill in state legislatures requiring electors to cast votes for the winner, not of their state vote, but of the national popular vote.

If you want to change the Constitutional requirement of electoral voting, it should be done by a proper amendment, not an end run or a legal power play.

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Davenport: The Grinch That Ate Christmas


This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

It happens every year.  People who do not understand the First Amendment of the Constitution launch legal attacks on Christmas.

This year’s Grinch award goes to an elementary school principal in Nebraska who banned Santas on worksheets, Christmas trees in classrooms, an elf on the shelf, making ornaments, reindeer and, yes, “red/green items” since those are Christmas colors.  My favorite was her ban on candy canes because they are shaped like a J for Jesus and the red is for the blood of Christ and the white for the resurrection.  Who knew?

Following expressions of outrage from parents and teachers, the school district reversed the anti-Christmas policy.  Strike another blow for Christmas and the First Amendment.

Yes, the First Amendment says government may not respect the establishment of religion, but that still leaves plenty of room for you—and your children—to enjoy a Merry Christmas, even at school.

I’m David Davenport.

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David Davenport: What’s at Stake in the 2018 Elections


435 House and 33 Senate seats.  36 governorships.  6,665 state offices and tens of thousands of local ones.  And you ask what’s at stake in the 2018 elections?

There’s more: important ballot measures like the gas tax in California, carbon emissions in Washington, Medicaid expansion and voting rights.

Beyond the direct effects of your vote lie other questions.  If we split the House and Senate, will anything be passed in the next two years?  Even though Donald Trump is not on the ballot, this election will largely be a referendum on his performance.

It’s embarrassing but, according to the Pew Research Center, voter turnout in the U.S. is only 26th out of 32 democratic countries.

Isn’t there enough at stake for you to vote?  Believe me, this is not a year to be disengaged.  Turn out and do your part.

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David Davenport: The Coming War In Data Privacy Is From Europe Not Washington


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.

For example, American universities enroll students from abroad and they will now be subject to this law.  Complying will cost millions and those who violate the new law could be subject to fines up to $23 million dollars.

Europe’s view is that the individual controls his or her data, not companies that collect it.  With an amazing overreach around the world, this now becomes a new global standard.  On top of trade wars, brace yourself for a new—and costly—cold war over privacy and data.

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David Davenport: Questions About Walls


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.

In his famous poem about walls, Robert Frost said, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” adding that before he built one, “I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out, and to whom I was likely to give offence.” Those are good questions for Mr. Trump’s policy.

He wants to wall out foreign products that are cheaper than American products. But this will trouble not only nations that produce them, but also American consumers who like to save money.

There’s also a question of constitutionality, since the president’s power to do this is based on national security. And the biggest question:  will tariff walls even work in a global economy?

Many important questions about walls.

 

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David Davenport: Will the U.S. Be Prosecuted in the International Criminal Court?


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

First, the Palestinian territories have filed a complaint against both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu over relocating Israel’s capital to Jerusalem. While an important matter for Middle Eastern politics, it’s difficult to see how this could be a criminal matter for the court.

Second, the prosecutor is seeking authority to investigate whether the U.S. military is guilty of torture and other war crimes in Afghanistan. Although the U.S. is not a member of the court, Afghanistan, on whose territory the alleged crimes occurred, is.

If either of these moves ahead, it would be the first time the ICC has sought to prosecute Americans and would set up a major confrontation between the U.S. and the court.

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David Davenport: The Rise of Millennial Voters


A wave of change is coming in the 2018 and 2020 elections:  the rise of millennial voters.  In those elections, millennials, born between 1980-2000, will finally pass baby boomers as the largest voting generation.

What we know is that millennials hold different political views than their boomer parents.  They are more fearful, saying 4-1 that America is on the wrong track.  They believe less in political institutions such as Congress and the President.  They are more open to socialism, less committed to freedom. Seventy-one percent say we need a new political party.

What we don’t know is how many millennials will actually show up to vote.  So far, their voting percentage is low:  only half or less of eligible voters in 2016.

It seems likely that millennial concerns will change the conversation in future elections, but we’ll have to wait and see whether they actually vote and change the outcome.

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