Robert VerBruggen

Robert VerBruggen is an associate editor at National Review, where he edits the Phi Beta Cons blog. He is a 2009 Phillips Foundation fellow.

More Handguns, Less Crime — or More?

 

In 1998, John R. Lott Jr. dropped a bombshell on the academic and legal worlds with More Guns, Less Crime. Lott had conducted perhaps the most detailed study of crime in history, using data from every county in America, and concluded that right-to-carry (RTC) laws — which allow citizens to carry concealed guns, but typically […]

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Diagnosing Racism

 

Earlier this month, the University of Washington’s Institute for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Sexuality released some data from a survey it had conducted. In seven states (Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and California), the Institute had asked white people whether they supported the tea parties, and also whether they agreed with […]

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Let’s Get Original

 

Thanks to two developments—the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor and the decision of the Supreme Court to hear the gun-rights case McDonald v. Chicago—the question of judicial philosophy has recently, once again, been in the news. The first of these developments united conservatives, whereas the second divided them. Sotomayor, conservatives agreed, was a progressive jurist—a judge who […]

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Doctrinal Candidates

 

Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities By Bruce L.R. Smith, Jeremy D. Mayer, and A. Lee Fritschler (Brookings Institution Press, 278 pages, $32.95) It’s been all the rage in the mainstream media lately: Several studies have supposedly disproved the notion that academia presents a lopsided, leftwing worldview to students. Perhaps the most thorough […]

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Fast and Loose

 

Supreme Court justices excluded, appeals-court judge Richard Posner is arguably the nation’s most respected right-of-center jurist. So when he argues in the New Republic that the high court recently got the Second Amendment wrong, people pay attention. Right leaning academic heavy hitters from George Washington’s Orin Kerr to Northwestern’s Jim Lindgren to Radford’s Matthew J. […]

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Wii’s Company

 

According to a recent prize-winning study published in Berkeley’s Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, when a college student brings a video game to school, it has a negative effect on even his roommate’s GPA. If the two roomies bring video games, their grades plunge further still, suggesting that the mind rotting effects are cumulative. […]

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Old Heller

 

Gun-rights supporters are going to have to come down from their post-Heller high a little earlier than they’d hoped. There’s already a considerable amount of legal maneuvering taking place, and for much of it, a bullseye is uncertain. Most promising are challenges to gun bans nationwide. Since the Supreme Court struck down the capital’s ban, […]

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Uneven Stevens

 

In discussions of last Thursday’s District of Columbia v. Heller ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion has, naturally, been front and center. But the two dissents are important as well. They show the four liberal justices’ complete willingness to subordinate the Constitution to their own policy preferences. Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer wrote […]

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Second Opinion

 

It’s not much of a surprise to see the Supreme Court strike down the District of Columbia’s gun laws, which had effectively banned handguns and required that any long guns be stored in non-functioning states. But until the opinions in this closely watched case became public yesterday, it was not clear how emphatically the justices […]

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Come One, Come All

 

Everyone knows that Republicans are more skeptical of immigration than Democrats are. And everyone knows that the November election will be hell on Senate Republicans. So simple logic indicates that immigration restrictionists will lose ground by the year’s end. This, though, is an understatement. The seats that might change hands this November are not only […]

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