This Statement Helped Heritage Interns Win Their Debate With Cato

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In Other Work of Note

Every summer, Heritage Foundation interns debate political philosophy with interns from the libertarian Cato Institute.

This debate is an opportunity for Heritage interns to refine their understanding of America’s first principles and how they apply to today’s most important issues.

Heritage interns were judged the winner of this year’s debate, in part because of the opening statement by intern Louis Cola.

Read his full remarks, below, and tell us what you think in the comments. Continue Reading »

The Supreme Court Blocks the Obama Administration’s Attack on Religious Liberty

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In Other Work of Note

hobbylobby2

The media wait for the Hobby Lobby lawyers to make their first public statement in front of the Supreme Court. Photo credit: Kayla Toth

In their ruling Monday in the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court struck a blow against Obamacare’s coercive contraceptive mandate.

“The government can’t compel a ‘closely held’  business such as the Hobby Lobby chain to cover abortion-inducing drugs or devices in employee health plans if doing so would violate the employer’s moral and religious beliefs,” Heritage’s Kelsey Harkness explains.

Heritage experts Sarah Torre and Elizabeth Slattery explain what this ruling means:

To be clear, the decision today applies only to the Obamacare rule that was threatening the religious freedom of the Greens’ and Hahns’ family businesses. Other claims for religious exemptions by closely held family businesses from other laws will have to be litigated on a case-by-case basis. RFRA doesn’t provide a blank check for religious believers to do whatever they want in the name of religion and neither does today’s decision.

With today’s ruling, the Greens’ and Hahns’ family businesses will be able to continue offering their employees generous healthcare plans (which cover most forms of contraception) without fear of government penalties. And the women who work for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood remain free – like all women – to make their own decisions about these four drugs and devices (as well as other birth control) and to purchase or find insurance coverage for them. But the government cannot coerce these family businesses to participate in those decisions in violation of their beliefs.

Do you think the court made the right call in the Hobby Lobby case?

How Heritage’s Partnership With an Inner-City School Helps Spread Your Conservative Ideas

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In Heritage Work

Denzel and James help to organize YLP brochures.

Washington, DC charter school students Denzel Hilliard (left) and James Stokes (right) are working with Heritage’s Young Leaders Program this summer.

For the last eight years, The Heritage Foundation has sponsored a fellowship for students from the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy in Washington, D.C. to educate them about conservative principles.

This year’s fellows, Denzel Hilliard and James Stokes, Jr. joined other interns in Heritage’s Young Leaders Program for policy briefings with Heritage experts and lectures about America’s First Principles. These lectures were particularly important to Stokes, he said, because they enhanced his education.

The students also worked directly with Heritage policy analysts, who mentored them on their careers, and gave them an opportunity to research and write about a public policy topic of their choice. Hilliard wrote about how free trade strengthens the economy, while Stokes’ article focused on American nuclear policy.

Both students agreed that the Heritage fellowship opened their eyes to new ideas and schools of thought, and they are grateful for the experience they received. Continue Reading »

Five Former Heritage Interns Selected for Prestigious Publius Fellowship

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In Heritage Impact

The Claremont Institute announced its 2014 Publius Fellows this week. Of the 14 rising conservative leaders selected, five are former Heritage Foundation interns: Gregory Collins, Travis LaCouter, Emil Maine, Avi Snyder, and Edward Walton.

The Publius Fellows, all young conservatives “pursuing careers in politics, scholarship, journalism, and related fields,” will gather in July to study the “moral and political principles of the American constitutional order.”

Through 40 seminars and discussions with distinguished scholars, the fellows will discuss a variety of topics including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the the Federalist Papers. Publius is the pen name used by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton to promote and defend the Constitution during the ratification debates.

Having participated in Heritage’s internship program, Collins, LaCouter, Maine, Snyder, and Walton are no strangers to conservative ideas. Heritage’s Young Leaders Program educates interns on American government and our founding principles through policy briefings and First Principles lectures. These will provide a solid foundation for these new fellows as they enter what has been called “boot camp for the political brain.”

Visit the Young Leaders Program page for more information about Heritage’s internship program.

The Campaign Finance Amendment Will Silence Free Speech

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In Heritage Work

A liberal-backed constitutional amendment aimed at controlling political spending would gut the First Amendment and silence free speech, Heritage Foundation experts Hans von Spakovsky and Elizabeth Slattery report.

The goals of the amendment are clear:

This amendment would give Congress the power not only to limit contributions to candidates, but also to limit the amount that the candidates could spend on an election campaign. Further, it would give Congress the authority to limit the amount that any individual, association, union, or corporation (both for-profit and nonprofit) could spend independently in support of or in opposition to a particular candidate.

Continue Reading »

Coordinating Heritage’s Research Firepower

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In Other Work of Note

The Heritage Foundation

Heritage’s new institutes will help build a stronger economy, a stronger society, and a stronger America.

The Heritage Foundation seeks to build a better life for all Americans––and a better life requires a stronger economy, a stronger society, and a stronger national defense.

Heritage serves our members as the only major think tank focused on all three of these important objectives.

To further sharpen that focus––and to continue to unite conservatives behind powerful policy solutions for a strong America––Heritage is coordinating all of our research firepower into three institutes that will help our experts work even more effectively to advance the conservative policy solutions our members support.

  • The Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity seeks to bring about a stronger economy. Through this Institute, Heritage will continue the groundbreaking research that highlights the disastrous impact of “progressive” left-wing ideas and explains the need for lower taxes, less spending and limited government.
  • The Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity seeks to bring about a strong society. The work of this Institute will include advancing religious freedom, marriage, and life, promoting child-centered education reform through parental choice, advocating work-based welfare reform, and developing patient-centered health care proposals to protect America from Obamacare.
  • The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy seeks to bring about a stronger national defense. This Institute’s work will educate lawmakers and citizens on the numerous global threats to America’s freedom and explore the right and wrong ways to protect our national interests.

Heritage used feedback from our members to name each Institute, ensuring that the words we are using speak to the concerns and values of a vast majority of Americans while reflecting Heritage’s conservative principles.

Each Institute is now home to dozens of researchers and policy experts, whom Heritage members can trust to offer sound conservative solutions for key issues of debate in Congress, with research that drives news coverage and policy consensus toward conservative, common-sense ideas.

According to Heritage President Jim DeMint, “Each of these institutes, combined with the work of Heritage Action for America, will help Heritage pursue the key elements necessary to achieve conservative policy successes––effective research, superb communications, and first-rate advocacy.”

 

Heritage’s Pfitzenmaier Crosses the Atlantic to Help Bridge the Generations

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In Heritage Impact

Heather Pfitzenmaier

The Heritage Foundation’s Heather Pfitzenmaier recently represented the conservative movement at an international convention  of world leaders in Switzerland.

Pfitzenmaier, who directs Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, attended the St. Gallen Symposium, which features debates among world leaders about economic, political, and social issues.

This year’s conference focused on “the clash of generations,” especially how the views of the Millennial generation (those born roughly between 1980 and 2000) relate to those of older generations.

As the Director of the Young Leaders Program, Pfitzenmaier understands the importance of the conservative vision and the role young minds play in protecting America’s founding principles. The future of liberty depends on equipping the next generation with a strong foundation in these core ideas.

For example, Pfitzenmaier leads Heritage’s internship program to prepare young leaders to take on new responsibilities in the conservative movement.

Visit the Young Leaders Program page for more information about Heritage’s internship program and other opportunities for the next generation.

Watch Inspiring Videos from American Leaders

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In Heritage Impact

An inspiring lineup of speakers joined The Heritage Foundation last month for our Annual Leadership Conference in Florida as we discussed how to advance conservative solutions.

Speakers included: Dr. Ben Carson, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rep. Jim Jordan, (R-OH), Los Angeles filmmaker Jeremy Boreing, and Heritage economist Steve Moore.

Videos from several speakers are below: Continue Reading »

Mike Lee’s Important Speech at Heritage About Fighting Cronyism and Special Interests

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In Heritage Impact

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) explained how big government enables cronyism. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) explained how big government enables cronyism. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) delivered an important address at The Heritage Foundation today decrying “America’s crisis of crony capitalism, corporate welfare, and political privilege.”

Working hand-in-hand with big government, K Street lobbyists and the big companies they represent tilt the otherwise level playing field the economy. They use the power of government to benefit themselves—at your expense.

“Big government isn’t just inefficient,” he told the audience in Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Auditorium,  “it’s fundamentally unfair.”

It’s ordinary Americans who suffer from cronyism, whether it’s in the form of economy-distorting regulations, special-interest tax breaks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or the Export-Import Bank.

That’s why conservatives should fight all Washington cronyism, Lee argued, no matter whether that cronyism was initiated by Democrats or Republicans.

Watch the full video of Lee’s speech here, and read more about the anti-cronyism agenda.

Do you think fighting Washington cronyism ought to be a priority for conservatives?

The Number One Goal of America’s Foreign Policy

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In Heritage Work

The number one goal of America’s foreign policy is to defend and protect American interests, Heritage Foundation expert Ted Bromund said.

These interests include:

  1. American Sovereignty. This can be summarized as: no other nation can tell us what to do. The United States has established and maintained a system of law, diplomacy, virtue, and a respect for her citizens. These qualities allow America to thrive.
  2. Independence. This is our basic ability to maintain and sustain sovereignty. Independence is gained by producing natural resources, maintaining military security, and creating an environment in which citizens can thrive without dependence on another nation.
  3. Respectability. This is earned when sovereignty and independence are secured. The result is a people and a government that are noble and civilized, not just on the world stage but in the day-to-day interactions of the people and the government.

Without these three fundamental interests, America ceases to exist, Bromund argues. And that’s why we must always be willing to fight for them.

Bromund’s outline of America’s interests are not new. In his farewell address, George Washington listed similar themes:

Happy in the confirmation of our Independence and Sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States of becoming a respectable Nation, I resign with satisfaction the Appointment I accepted with diffidence.

Do you think the U.S. should protect our national interest?

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