A number of scholars, journalists, and at least one member of Congress claim that the current Supreme Court (the “Roberts Court”) is more favorable to business than previous Supreme Courts have been. Other commentators disagree, while acknowledging that the Roberts Court is “less hostile to enterprise than the Warren Court” was; one of these commentators […]
When Common Wisdom Is Neither Common nor Wisdom: Exploring Voters’ Limited Use of Endorsements on Three Ballot Measures
Ballot measures offer voters the opportunity to shape policy decisions directly. It remains unclear, however, if direct democracy asks too much of voters. Do voters have the capacity to make informed decisions on ballot measures that have important and far-reaching policy consequences? The common wisdom in the academic literature is that voters routinely use endorsements […]
The voting levers in candidate elections and in direct democracy elections are identical. The political obligations that bind the citizens that pull them are not. This Essay argues that voters in direct democracy elections, unlike their counterparts in candidate elections, serve as representatives of the people and are, accordingly, bound by the ethics of political […]
Judges claim to resolve ambiguities in initiatives by identifying and giving force to “voter intent,” but scholars reject that on the ground that such intent does not exist. This Article argues otherwise. We can understand the search for voter intent to be a search for the majoritarian interpretation. The interpretation preferred by the median voter […]
In the ever-evolving jurisprudence of campaign finance, one principle has endured: the rules governing candidate elections are analyzed differently from the rules governing ballot measures because, according to the courts, the latter elections do not implicate the state’s legitimate interest in combating quid pro quo corruption. It should now be apparent to even a casual […]
I explore some of the indirect effects of holding popular votes on minority rights. This Article examines how direct democracy may expand the scope of conflict over issues of minority rights by allowing campaigns that subject a minority group to public judgment. Campaigns may precipitate messages that treat a minority group as a threat, as […]
There are many commentators and critics who want to limit direct democracy for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason (chaotic policy making/uninformed voters/exaggerated influence of money, etc.) the end result is the same: initiatives and direct democracy should become harder to use. The difficulty is twofold: first, often the criticisms are greatly over-stated. In fact […]
This Article will examine the history, text, and application of the Guarantee Clause (or Republican Form of Government Clause). It will first examine the historical context in which the Framers enacted Article IV, Section 4. It will then discuss the text and public understanding of the Clause. Then, it will survey the case law at […]
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