2012 Minnesota Law Review Symposium

A More Perfect Union? Democracy in the Age of Ballot Initiatives

Friday, October 26, 2012

Leading academics and practicing attorneys from across the country spoke to a packed audience at the University of Minnesota Law School on Oct. 26, 2012 to discuss direct democracy. The presentations used empirical, legal, and philosophical arguments to frame the debate over the role that ballot initiatives and campaigns play in our constitutional democracy. The symposium featured three panels and a lunchtime speech by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Video of the symposium will be available shortly and the panelists’ articles will be published online and in print in Issue 5 of the Minnesota Law Review. The Law Review would like to thank everyone who attended the event.

This activity was approved by the State Bar of Minnesota for 5.5 hours of standard CLE credits. The event code is 171448.

Symposium Panels and Panelists

1) Citizens as Legislators


Professor Ethan J. Leib, Fordham University Law School, The Political Morality of Voting in Direct Democracy

Professor Mathew D. McCubbins, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, When Common Wisdom is Neither Common Nor Wisdom: Exploring Voters’ Limited Use of Endorsements on Three Ballot Measures

Professor Michael D. Gilbert, University of Virginia Law School, Interpreting Initiatives


2) Ballot Campaigns: Politics as Usual?


Provost Elizabeth Garrett, University of Southern California, Campaign Finance in the Hybrid Realm of Recall Elections

Professor Michael S. Kang, Emory University Law School, Campaign Disclosure in Direct Democracy

Professor Todd Donovan, Western Washington University, Direct Democracy and Campaigns Against Minorities


3) Direct Democracy’s Challenge: Majoritarianism and the Republic

Professor Shaun Bowler, University of California Riverside, When is it OK to Limit Direct Democracy?

Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich, United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, Are State Constitutions Constitutional?

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

**For a full schedule, please click this link (PDF).