Debates


NRI advances the conservative principles that Buckley advocated throughout his life, in his National Review writings, books, speeches, and the lively debates in which he engaged—in print, on television, and elsewhere. In 1966, Buckley took his conservative message beyond the pages of National Review and directly to the American public. Through Firing Line, for over three decades he influenced the millions of Americans who tuned in weekly for intelligent discussion—of key events, of core principles, and of leading policymakers—between powerful voices on the Left and Right.

In partnership with the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, NRI celebrated the 50th anniversary of Firing Line and the Buckley legacy in three cities: Dallas, New York, and Washington, D.C. Our kickoff event was held at Harlan Crow’s Debate Chamber on the Old Parkland campus. His vision for the campus is to “be a place where there are conversations, there’s sharing of ideas, and there are thought leaders.” The Debate Chamber was created specifically to fulfill this vision.

True to Buckley’s legacy, this series of events provided a forum for civilized debate and discussion—lessons that important legacy still teaches us today. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Old Parkland.

Debate Forum on the Protection of Individual Liberties | January, 2020
Sponsored by National Review Institute
RESOLVED: The courts have gone too far in protecting individual rights over the rights of states.
For the motion: The Honorable Kenneth Starr, The Lanier Law Firm
Against the motion: Professor Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School
Moderator: Charles C. W. Cooke (National Review)
Watch the debate here.

Debate Forum on Masterpiece Cakeshop SCOTUS Case | March 6, 2018
Sponsored by National Review Institute
RESOLVED: Jack Phillips and the Masterpiece Cakeshop are constitutionally entitled to refuse to design a custom cake for a same-sex couple.
For the motion: Jim Campbell, Alliance Defending Freedom; David French, National Review Institute
Against the motion: Lawrence Sager, University of Texas School of Law; Nelson Tebbe, Cornell Law School
Watch the debate here.

Debate Forum on Criminal Justice | April 12, 2017
Sponsored by National Review Institute and Texas Public Policy Foundation
RESOLVED: Incarceration rates are too high.
For the motion: Derek Cohen, Center for Effective Justice and the Right on Crime Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation;
Mark Levin, Center for Effective Justice and the Right on Crime Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation
Against the motion: Barry Latzer, John Jay College; Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review Institute
Watch the debate here.

Debate Forum on Free Trade | October 20, 2016
Sponsored by National Review Institute
RESOLVED: Free trade policies always benefit the U.S.
For the motion: Laura Collins, George W. Bush Institute; Scott Lincicome, Cato Institute
Against the motion: Oren Cass, Manhattan Institute; Reihan Salam, National Review Institute
Watch the debate here.

Debate Forum on Immigration | May 24, 2016
Sponsored by National Review Institute and Hoover Institution Library & Archives
RESOLVED: Greater low-skilled immigration and legalization for undocumented immigrants is good for America.
For the motion: Tim Kane, Hoover Institution; Linda Chavez, Center for Equal Opportunity and Becoming American Institute
Against the motion: Rich Lowry, National Review; Reihan Salam, National Review Institute
Watch the debate here.

We look forward to returning to Old Parkland in the future!