The Independent Institute

 
        

William Watkins Archive

William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute and author of the Independent books, Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America’s First Constitution, Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy, and Patent Trolls: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

What Trump Can Learn from the Treaty that Created America



In January, the winds of political change often blow with ferocity. The District of Columbia is now bracing itself for a gale-force disruption as Donald Trump prepares to become the 45th President of the United States. An upheaval in foreign affairs, trade, and immigration policy is in the offing. It’s tempting to focus solely...
Read More »

Geert Wilders Convicted of Hate Speech: Will It Happen Here?



Last week, Dutch politician Geert Wilders was convicted of inciting discrimination and of insulting a group. The offending remarks came at a political rally when Wilders suggested that his country would be better off without any more Moroccan immigration. The New York Times has this news story here. Many folks who read this website are likely...
Read More »

The Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party and the Importance of Precedent



December 16 is the 243rd Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The British taxed tea, the colonists got mad, dressed up like Indians, and tossed the tea into the ocean—that’s a fair summary of what most Americans know about the Boston Tea Party. It was, we are told, a mere tax protest that shows...
Read More »

Bill of Rights Day: Opportunities Missed



Thursday, December 15, is Bill of Rights Day, a time when citizens are told to celebrate the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Scholars such as Yale’s Akhil Amar describe the Bill of Rights as “the high temple of our constitutional order—America’s Parthenon.” Most of the public buys into this and believes that the...
Read More »

In Politics, Innovation Isn’t Always Progress



Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton called for innovative solutions for what ails America. For the former it was a new fence on our southern border that will supposedly be funded by Mexico; for the latter it was free (i.e., taxpayer subsidized) college tuition. Fresh ideas, they told us, could “make America great again”...
Read More »

Can Christian Adherents of the Freedom Philosophy Support Trump?



There has been much chatter recently about whether Christians with libertarian or conservative convictions can, in good conscience, support Trump. At the American Conservative, Rod Dreher says no. Over at Chronicles Tom Piatak challenges Dreher’s reasoning. Walter Block, who is behind the Libertarians for Trump movement, says that “The Donald is the most congruent with...
Read More »

SCOTUS, the Presidential Debate, and The Formula



The Supreme Court will be a major issue in tonight’s presidential debate. Justice Scalia’s seat is just part of the story. At 83 years old, rumors have long been swirling about the health of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a solid vote for the liberals. Moreover, Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee who often votes with the...
Read More »

Patent Reform Is Not a Left Wing Thing



Over at R Street, Zach Graves has a good piece up looking at the American Conservative Union’s opposition to patent reform pending in the Congress. He points out that the sponsors of the much maligned legislation are not looney leftists, but solid leaders on the Right. The American Conservative Union’s own scorecard ranks members sponsoring...
Read More »

Patent Trolls Still Alive and Kicking



Over at Techdirt, there is a good story up on how a patent troll attacked a startup and the litigation costs so distressed the startup that it was forced to sell out to another patent troll. Peter Braxton created Jump Rope Inc., and developed an app that allows users to pay a fee to...
Read More »

Shifting from Quantity to Quality in Patent Applications



VentureBeat has published a good piece on how “innovators are now moving away from creating untargeted, mass-produced innovations that aim only to secure as many patents as possible, and they’re moving toward precise innovation centered around specific product and market needs.” The American patent system has long been suffering the consequences of the issuance of...
Read More »

  • MyGovCost.org
  • FDAReview.org
  • OnPower.org
  • elindependent.org