Joining Cato, and a farewell to the Manhattan Institute

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve joined the Cato Institute as a senior fellow, effective this week. As most readers of this site know well, Cato is the premier voice for individual liberty in our nation’s capital, and a think tank of tremendous accomplishments across the board. Its program on law, led by Roger Pilon, includes such outstanding thinkers as Tim Lynch, Ilya Shapiro and Robert Levy. Cato is particularly known as a place where free speech, civil liberties, and the Bill of Rights are given the centrality they deserve in legal thinking, and it’s also a powerhouse in studying the ill effects of government regulation. In fact, the publication where I got my real start in the policy world, the magazine Regulation (originally published by the American Enterprise Institute), has made its home at Cato for many years now. In short, it’s hard to imagine a better fit with my writing and research interests.

I’ll be saying goodbye to my colleagues and kind friends at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, which has long supported my work in the most patient, good-humored and uninterfering way I could have hoped for. I’m immensely fortunate to have been part of MI for more than 25 years and I know I’ll learn much more from its formidable thinkers in years to come. While I’ll continue to contribute occasionally to MI’s blog/web magazine Point of Law, I’ve left its editorship, and I’m happy to say the Institute had the good idea of hiring as my replacement none other than Ted Frank, of Overlawyered and CCAF fame.

Jim Copland of the Manhattan Institute has some extremely kind things to say at Point of Law about our long association. The blog Think Tanked reprints the MI’s generous announcement.

I’ll still be posting as usual here at Overlawyered, and I’ll also be joining as a contributor at the excellent group blog Cato at Liberty, which you should promptly place in your RSS feed if you haven’t already. In months ahead I’ll have more to say about some new projects I’ll be pursuing at Cato, as well as existing projects many readers already know about, like my forthcoming book on bad ideas from legal academia, Schools for Misrule.

P.S. Cato’s press release and bio page for me are up, as is a welcoming post from Roger Pilon at Cato at Liberty. And thanks for the very generous words to Dan Pero at American Courthouse, Carter Wood at NAM ShopFloor, and Alan Lange at Y’AllPolitics.


  • Awesome! Congratulations. Looking forward to the results.

  • So, your “leaving” but still going to be “here”. Congrats on your new “home”. I look forward to more of your blogging.

  • […] Walter’s announcement at Overlawyered, “Joining Cato, and a farewell to the Manattan Institute“: I’m delighted to announce that I’ve joined the Cato Institute as a senior fellow, […]

  • Congratulations! And well deserved.

  • Congratulations, Mr. Olson!

  • You’re in good company over at Cato 🙂 one of my favorite sites

  • Congrats Walter, and Ted!

  • Let me add my congratulations Walter. Best of luck on your new job.

  • I have written Mr Olson with leads for posts and such and have always received a kind note of “thank you” from him.

    Classy guy, and one who deserves the accolades and advancements in life he is receiving.

    Congratulations and good luck, sir.

  • Congratulations to both of you, Mr Olson and Mr. Frank.

  • […] from Ramesh Ponnuru at NRO “Corner” and David Lat and Elie Mystal at Above the Law (earlier). And I’m very grateful for Chris Rizo’s full-length treatment at Legal NewsLine, even […]

  • […] to law bloggers Byron Stier and Eric Turkewitz for joining others in noting my move to Cato (even if Wikipedia still […]