Direct Democracy and the Courts by Kenneth P. Miller

By Kenneth P. Miller

Who must have the final word on basic coverage matters? This ebook analyzes the increase of 2 contenders - the folk, via direct democracy, and the courts. brought within the U.S. throughout the revolutionary period and now on hand in approximately part the states, direct democracy has surged in contemporary many years. via poll measures, electorate have slashed taxes, mandated govt spending, imposed time period limits on elected officers, enacted crusade finance reform, barred affirmative motion, banned same-sex marriage, and followed many different debatable legislation. in numerous states, electorate now skip legislatures to take advantage of vital coverage judgements. despite the fact that, the "people's rule" isn't really absolute. This publication demonstrates that courts have used an increasing strength of judicial evaluate to invalidate citizen-enacted legislation at remarkably excessive premiums. The ensuing clash among the folk and the courts threatens to provide a well-liked backlash opposed to judges and increases profound questions on the correct scope of renowned sovereignty and judicial strength in a constitutional approach.

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As an additional precaution, each delegation of power was carefully matched with a counter-power. The Constitution set the government in opposition to itself, in an almost isometric way. ”11 Scholars dating back to Woodrow Wilson have argued that Madison’s design owed much to Isaac Newton. In Constitutional Government of the United States (1908), Wilson wrote that [t]he government of the United States was constructed upon the Whig theory of political dynamics, which was sort of an unconscious copy of the Newtonian theory of the universe.

Senators Elihu Root of New York and Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts. Many reformers ridiculed these men as reactionaries and allies of the special interests, but a fair reading of their arguments shows they were making a principled defense of Madisonian constitutionalism. President Taft, in particular, paid a price for his stance. His strong opposition to direct democracy deepened his estrangement from Roosevelt and others in the Progressive wing of the Republican Party and contributed to his repudiation at the polls in November 1912.

Direct amendment of constitutions could thus lead to the casual destruction of fundamental rights. 53 Taft was especially concerned that direct democracy would threaten rights of property, in part because he believed that many reformers were driven by socialist impulses. 54 Meanwhile, in his 1913 Princeton lectures, Senator Elihu Root argued that the initiative process provides inadequate opportunities for deliberation and refinement of proposals, especially on complex issues. , The Collected Works of William Howard Taft, Vol.

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