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  • Commentary posted July 28, 2014 by Jennifer A. Marshall What It Takes to Have a Culture of Opportunity

    Opening the doors of opportunity to every American is an all-hands-on-deck effort. It requires policy reforms and community leadership. It means focusing on a range of issues from unwed childbearing to educational opportunity to economic indicators. The Index of Culture and Opportunity, a new annual publication by the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Jennifer A. Marshall, Sarah Torre RFRA Worked the Way It Was Supposed To in Hobby Lobby

    Today an important religious- liberty law did what it was supposed to do. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) provided the Supreme Court with a mechanism for weighing competing claims in our pluralistic society. The Court determined that we can, in fact, balance seemingly conflicting interests without throwing out religious…

  • Commentary posted February 27, 2014 by Jennifer A. Marshall When Tolerance Turns to Coerced Celebration

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last night vetoed what should have been a straightforward religious freedom bill. Minor clarifications to existing law got lost in an avalanche of gross mischaracterization as national pundits predicted the bill would usher in a "homosexual Jim Crow" regime with rampant denial of services by business owners to gays and lesbians. The development is…

  • Commentary posted January 8, 2014 by Jennifer A. Marshall Incentives Matter in Fighting Poverty

    Fifty years in, the War on Poverty has fortified the welfare state–industrial complex while weakening society’s little platoons and disarming the vulnerable. Far from giving the poor “a fair chance to develop their own capacities,” as President Johnson sought, public assistance too often has created long-term dependence while undermining work and eroding marriage — the…

  • Special Report posted October 7, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Brittany Corona, Jennifer A. Marshall, Rachel Sheffield, Sandra Stotsky Common Core National Standards and Tests: Empty Promises and Increased Federal Overreach Into Education

    Americans who cherish limited government must be constantly vigilant of pushes to centralize various aspects of our lives. Government intervention is a zero-sum game; every act of centralization comes at the expense of liberty and the civil society institutions upon which this country was founded. Education is no exception. Growing federal intervention in education over…

  • Commentary posted September 9, 2013 by Jennifer A. Marshall Responding to Call of ‘Duck Dynasty’

    “For the life of me, I can’t figure out why people are so attracted to our family,” writes Phil Robertson. And that was before “Duck Dynasty,” the Robertson family’s reality show, smashed records for a nonfiction cable program when 11.8 million viewers checked out the season premiere in mid-August. Phil, as nearly everyone calls him, is the bearded, 67-year-old progenitor…

  • Commentary posted August 1, 2013 by Jennifer A. Marshall Slicing ‘Breadwinner Moms’ Headlines

    “Breadwinner Moms” was a brilliant stroke of pop-culture framing for the recent Pew Research Center study that depicted Mom as main provider in 40 percent of American households with children. The research group’s headline device capitalized on the “You go, girl!” sentiment that is so prevalent in popular culture, and it made news in a way that the major findings of the…

  • Commentary posted June 17, 2013 by Jennifer A. Marshall It Takes a Dad as Well as a Mom

    Orlando Shaw earned his 15 minutes of fame with a dubious distinction: fathering 22 children with 14 women. The Nashville man’s story made news when the mothers of his children sued for child support. But this deadbeat dad’s delinquent payments aren’t the only thing scandalizing observers. Shaw’s apparent nonchalance about the 22 lives he brought into the world is…

  • Commentary posted April 22, 2013 by Jennifer A. Marshall, Sarah Torre A Troubling but Eye-Opening Murder Trial

    Melissa Ohden went through an abortion and lived to tell about it. That might not sound noteworthy in an era when more than 3,000 women a day have an abortion. But Melissa was the baby, not the mother. In 1977, at approximately seven months gestation, Melissa was the target of a saline infusion abortion. She wasn’t supposed to survive. She did. Now a married mother…

  • Commentary posted March 28, 2013 by Jennifer A. Marshall What I Saw at the March for Marriage: Diversity

    On Tuesday, as lawyers argued Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court, thousands made their way past the Court building as part of the March for Marriage, organized by the National Organization for Marriage. They came from Chicago and New York City, New Hampshire and North Carolina, and beyond. Some were black pastors who had marched for their civil rights a half century…

  • Special Report posted January 28, 2013 by Lindsey Burke, Virginia Walden Ford, Dan Lips, Jennifer A. Marshall, Jason Richwine, Ph.D., Rachel Sheffield, Evan Walter Choosing to Succeed

    Edited by Lindsey M. Burke In his enduring 1964 convention speech “A Time for Choosing,” Ronald Reagan remarked that “outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.” If we believe as Reagan did that markets are superior to monopolies in every aspect of our lives, why then do we consign…

  • White Paper posted January 22, 2013 by Robert Rector, Jennifer A. Marshall The Unfinished Work of Welfare Reform

    Among the public-policy achievements of the past two decades, welfare reform may simultaneously be the best known and least understood. It is now remembered as a bipartisan triumph that ended “welfare as we know it,” to use President Clinton’s phrase, transforming the character of federal anti-poverty policy. The true history, however, is less august: The struggle to…

  • Backgrounder posted January 17, 2013 by John Malcolm, Jennifer A. Marshall The Newtown Tragedy: Complex Causes Require Thoughtful Analysis and Responses

    All Americans, from whatever walks of life and of whatever political or philosophical convictions, abhor the death of innocent human beings and had a visceral reaction of shock and pain to the killing of 20 schoolchildren and six staff members in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012. In responding to this attack, Americans must consider with great reflection and care…

  • Special Report posted December 19, 2012 by Jennifer A. Marshall Understanding American Liberty

    In June 2012, the Hollywood film For Greater Glory, starring Andy Garcia, appeared in U.S. theaters. The movie tells the story of the Cristero War in Mexico in the late 1920s, a popular rebellion against the Mexican government's efforts to throttle religious freedom in order to secularize post-revolutionary Mexican society. In the savage clash that followed, Catholic…

  • Commentary posted November 23, 2012 by Jennifer A. Marshall Poverty Thrives on the Same Old Song

    A half century into the War on Poverty, liberals can hardly declare victory. But they can claim the dominant anti-poverty narrative: Americans seldom look to conservatives for answers to the problems of poverty. That’s not to say we don’t have answers. To the contrary, we’ve had important successes. The 1996 welfare reform rises to the top. School choice, which…