The Electoral College is under threat. Fifteen states, joined by the District of Columbia, have entered into an interstate compact and pledged to hand their delegates to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide instead of the candidate who wins in their state. If states with another combined 78 Electoral College delegates join, the compact will be go into effect and may be able to swing the next election. This panel will discuss whether this compact is constitutional, as well as the Framers’ rationale for the Electoral College, its continuing value, and what must be done to preserve it.

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Many Americans have been taught a distorted, inaccurate account of our nation’s founding, one that claims that the founders were deists who desired the strict separation of church and state and that the country’s founding political ideas developed without reference to Christianity. In this revelatory, rigorously argued new book, Mark David Hall thoroughly debunks that modern myth and shows instead that the founders’ political ideas were profoundly influenced by their Christian convictions.

Drawing from hundreds of personal letters, public proclamations, early state constitutions and laws, and other original documents, Professor Hall makes the airtight case that America’s founders were not deists; that they did not create a “godless” Constitution; that even Jefferson and Madison did not want a high wall separating church and state; that most founders believed the government should encourage Christianity; and that they embraced a robust understanding of religious liberty for biblical and theological reasons. In addition, Hall explains why and how the founders’ views are absolutely relevant today.

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In his new book, Age of Iron, leading authority on Republican foreign policy, Colin Dueck, describes the shifting coalitions over the past century among foreign policy factions within the Republican Party and shows how President Trump upended them starting in 2015-16. Professor Dueck offers a balanced summary and assessment of Trump’s foreign policy approach, analyzing its strengths and weaknesses. He also describes the current interaction of conservative public opinion and presidential foreign policy leadership in the broader context of political populism. Finally, he makes the case for a forward-leaning realism, based upon the understanding that the U.S. is entering a protracted period of geopolitical competition with other major powers. The result is a book that captures the past, present, and, possibly, future of foreign policy in the United States.

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A discussion with Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar at The Heritage Foundation on October 2.

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On September 18 and 19, 2019, The Heritage Foundation partnered with the prominent independent Indian think tank, the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) to host a two-day event at Heritage entitled India on the Hill: Charting a Future for Indo-U.S. Relations.

By 2030, India and the US will rank amongst the largest democratic economies in the world—a development that will further elevate the importance of this relationship for international peace and stability. India and the US already share a preference for a free, open and liberal international system — values that underpin cooperation on a wide range of issues—ranging from Indo-Pacific security to counter-terrorism and defense collaboration. Nevertheless, the two countries also confront differences on trade, technology, and India’s extant energy and security relationships that must be resolved. “India on the Hill” attempts to support this rapidly maturing bilateral partnership by untangling existing differences and advancing shared strategic interests.

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The 2020 Index of U.S. Military Strength has both good and bad news for America’s national defense. This year saw the first ‘very strong’ score awarded to the Army for its readiness levels, with 78% of its brigades assessed as ready. The Navy has made some improvements in readiness as well, but its current fleet of 290 ships is well below the recommended 400. Similarly, the Air Force’s readiness has improved, but a lack of pilots and flying time has hindered its ability to project the kind of air power necessary for great power competition. And lastly, the Marine Corps has risen from ‘weak’ to ‘marginal’ in this year’s edition.

This unique report assesses the strength of each of the U.S. military services, the status of the threats we face, and the favorability of the environment in which the U.S. and its allies must be prepared to operate. Since the initial publication of the Index, the military has struggled in building its size and capability for operations—brought about by harmful budget caps, underinvestment in research and development, and decades of sustained engagement in the Middle East.

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Interpol is a valuable partner in the fight against transnational crime and terrorism. But autocratic governments around the world have realized that they can manipulate Interpol’s system of alerts — especially its famous Red Notice — to harass journalists, political opponents, and businesspeople. This is part of the wider phenomenon of transnational repression, in which the long arm of international organizations and law is perverted for repressive purposes.

The bipartisan TRAP Act — the Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention Act — introduced in the Senate and the House by the leaders of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, seeks to put the U.S. in the forefront of the fight against Interpol abuse. Please join us at The Heritage Foundation as a distinguished panel assesses the problem of Interpol abuse and the TRAP Act’s potential to prevent it.

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Many Americans feel like their religious freedom is under attack. They see the culture changing around them, and they fear that their beliefs will soon be marginalized as a form of bigotry. Others think these fears are overblown and say Christians should stop complaining about imaginary persecution.

In his new book Free to Believe, religious freedom attorney Luke Goodrich challenges both sides of this debate, offering a fresh perspective on the most controversial religious freedom conflicts today. With keen insights on conflicts over abortion, sexual orientation, gender identity, Islam, and the public square, Goodrich argues that threats to religious freedom are real – but they might not be quite what you think.

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The Jesse Helms Lecture Series highlights foreign policies that Senator Helms championed throughout his years in office. Senator Helms was an ardent supporter of America’s veterans and took particular pride in making sure that every former service member could rely on his assistance and intervention to make sure that they received the best possible care. Secretary Wilkie knows Senator Helm’s commitment to this issue better than anyone having served as Counsel to the Senator.

Please join us as Secretary Wilkie discusses the progress he has made in reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs to make sure that the brave men and women who serve in America’s armed forces who sacrifice so much for our safety and security receive the care and benefits they have earned.

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The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.” But as the digital world advances, corporations, including big tech and the government, know more and more about us than ever before, straining traditional notions of privacy. What do corporations and big tech know about us, how do they use that information? What is the relationship between big tech and the government, and how does that threaten your privacy? And what are the implications of the Supreme Court’s Carpenter decision, which held that cell phone users have 4th Amendment rights in their historical cell-site location records? Join us for a discussion with three experts as they discuss the rise of the surveillance state and the threats to privacy by corporations and the government.

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The United States is currently engaged in a competition with the Chinese government unlike any other that we have witnessed before. This is a competition between the American system-which is governed by freedom and the rule of law-and a totalitarian dictatorship that is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. These are two different visions for the future; one will succeed, and one will fail.

It is possible for America to respond to the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts, but doing so will require new thinking, many big changes, and many hard choices for our leaders in government and private sector.

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This panel will delve into the ever-growing challenges with border security referencing a soon-to-come report on Border Metrics by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Senior Heritage Legal Fellows will also discuss what the states can do at the subnational level to enforce immigration laws and assist the federal government in fighting the illegal immigrant problem.

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In the world of science and medicine, moral and ethical considerations abound. What does it mean to be “human?” When it comes to the promise of therapies and cures, do the ends justify the means? What limiting principles should guide research and public policy? In the pursuit of human flourishing, how do we decide what is acceptable collateral damage? Why should society approach issues such as three-parent embryos, human cloning, assisted reproductive technology, gene editing, embryonic stem cell research, and many others, with caution and restraint?

Join us for an illuminating and informative discussion with leading philosophical, scientific, and public policy experts as we explore the importance of bioethics in science, culture, and the law.

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Freedom of conscience is one of the most fundamental rights individuals have in the United States, guaranteed by the First Amendment. Understanding this, the Trump Administration has prioritized religious liberty as one of its paramount issues. In May of last year, President Trump signed an executive order creating the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, with the goal of ensuring that faith-based and community organizations, which form the bedrock of our society, have strong advocates in the White House and throughout the Federal Government. This hasn’t just been lip service. Throughout the federal government, agencies have enacted policies and litigation strategies to protect religious freedom. Join us for a discussion with three key administration officials from the Department of Justice, Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services, as they discuss what their agencies are doing to champion religious liberty.

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The Foreign Minister of Estonia, Mr. Urmas Reinsalu, will discuss challenges facing Europe today and Estonia’s evolving role in the Euro-Atlantic community. While geopolitical changes, the emergence of new great powers and the revanchism of the old ones are testing the stability of the international order, fast developments in technology are changing the way our economies and function, the way we get our news and even the way we communicate with each other, in process creating tensions and putting domestic institutions under stress. As our institutions cope with these factors, we need to make sure no one will miscalculate the strength and commitment of the Euro-Atlantic relationship.

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Jennifer Zeng was born in Sichuan province, China in 1966. She was arrested four times and held as a prisoner of conscience in a labor camp for a year. In the camp, she was physically and mentally abused, and subjected to attempted brainwashing and electroshock treatment. She fled China in 2001 for Australia, wrote a book about her experiences titled Witnessing History: One Chinese Woman’s Fight for Freedom. She eventually settled in the United States. There is also a documentary about her life called Free China: The Courage to Believe. Jennifer is a managing editor at Epoch Times.

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America’s Founders understood the press as both a necessary component of republican government and a potential threat to political liberty. They counted on libel laws to restrain the press’s natural excesses. But the Supreme Court dramatically changed the nature of libel law in its landmark 1964 decision, New York Times v. Sullivan. How has this ruling changed the character of America’s press, and what have been long term consequences of this ruling? Should this decision be revisited? Please join us as our panel of experts consider whether stronger libel laws against the press should be revived.

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The U.S. Marine Corps stands on the brink of revolutionary change, driven by General David H. Berger, 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Just six days after taking office this summer, General Berger issued his Commandant’s Planning Guidance, in which he made a bold break from long-held imperatives that have driven the Corps’ organizing, acquisition, doctrinal, and training efforts for a half-century. Agreeing with his predecessor’s assessment that “The Marine Corps is not organized, trained, equipped, or postured” for the future, General Berger has laid out an audacious plan to reorient the Corps and design a force to meet the demands of Great Power Competition and future war.

Join us for an in-depth conversation with the Commandant, in his first presentation for the general public, to gain greater insight into why he believes such dramatic change is needed, his orientation of the Corps to the Indo-Pacific, how the service plans to move forward, and what it implies not only for the Marines, but also for the U.S. Navy, the defense industrial base, and the ability of operational commanders to meet rapidly evolving future threats. Reception to follow.

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When Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980, limits on NASA funding and the lack of direction under the Nixon and Carter administrations had left the U.S. space program at a crossroads. In contrast to his predecessors, Reagan saw outer space as humanity’s final frontier and as an opportunity for global leadership. His optimism and belief in American exceptionalism guided a decade of U.S. activities in space, including bringing the space shuttle into operation, dealing with the 1986 Challenger accident and its aftermath, committing to a permanently crewed space station, encouraging private sector space efforts, and fostering international space partnerships with both U.S. allies and with the Soviet Union.

Drawing from a trove of declassified primary source materials and oral history interviews, John M. Logsdon provides the first comprehensive account of Reagan’s civilian and commercial space policies during his eight years in the White House. Even as a fiscal conservative who was hesitant to increase NASA’s budget, Reagan’s enthusiasm for the space program made him perhaps the most pro-space president in American history.

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Public diplomacy in the era of President Trump has been a subject of much conjecture. It has focused, to a great extent, on the president’s promise to “Make America Great Again” and how that idea is received around the world. Yet, little factual information has come out about the significant changes in Public Diplomacy’s place within the Department of State. Under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, streamlining and reorganization has been taking place. Most notably, State’s Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Bureaus have merged to form a Bureau of Global Public Affairs, whose mission is simultaneously to “serve the American people by effectively communicating U.S. foreign policy priorities and the importance of diplomacy to American audiences, and engaging foreign publics to enhance their understanding of and support for the values and policies of the United States.” Furthermore, some priorities have shifted to align priorities with President Trump’s National Security Strategy. In order to examine and analyze these changes, The Heritage Foundation will host a discussion with some of the key players in the Trump Administration’s Public Diplomacy work.

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