9780521765640

Direct Democracy and the Courts

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521765640

  • ISBN10:

    0521765641

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-08-31
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Summary

Who should have the last word on fundamental policy issues? This book analyzes the rise of two contenders - the people, through direct democracy, and the courts. Now available in nearly half the states, direct democracy has surged in recent decades. Through ballot measures, voters have slashed taxes, mandated government spending, imposed term limits on elected officials, enacted campaign finance reform, barred affirmative action, banned same-sex marriage, and adopted many other controversial laws. In several states, citizens now bypass legislatures to make the most important policy decisions. However, the 'people's rule' is not absolute. This book demonstrates that courts have used an expanding power of judicial review to invalidate citizen-enacted laws at remarkably high rates. The resulting conflict between the people and the courts threatens to produce a popular backlash against judges and raises profound questions about the proper scope of popular sovereignty and judicial power in a constitutional system.

Table of Contents

Introduction: a clash of rising powers: Part I. The Quest for Majority Rule
The epic debate
Direct democracy gathers force
Countering the Majority
The counter-majoritarian power
The courts at work
Conflicts over rights
Conflicts over powers
The Majority Strikes Back
The people's check on the courts
Conclusion: a new constitutional equilibrium
Appendix
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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