Direct Democracy and the Courts

Cambridge University Press, 31 de ago de 2009 - 278 páginas
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. Introduced in the U.S. during the Progressive Era and 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.

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List of Tables and Figures
The Epic Debate
Direct Democracy Gathers Force
The CounterMajoritarian Power
The Courts at Work
Conflicts Over Rights
Conflicts Over Powers
The Peoples Check on the Courts
A New Constitutional Equilibrium
PostElection Initiative Inualidations
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Sobre o autor (2009)

Kenneth P. Miller is associate professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College in California. He holds a B.A. from Pomona College, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. His most recent publication is a volume co-edited with Frédérick Douzet and Thad Kousser titled The New Political Geography of California (2008). He has published articles on topics including the initiative process, the recall of California governor Gray Davis, and the federal Voting Rights Act. He has also served as a political analyst in various media outlets, including National Public Radio, BBC World Service Radio, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

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