Minnesota Law Review Symposium on Ballot Initiatives

Foreword, Minnesota Law Review Symposium

by Tom Pryor

When Common Wisdom Is Neither Common nor Wisdom: Exploring Voters’ Limited Use of Endorsements on Three Ballot Measures

by Craig M. Burnett and Mathew D. McCubbins

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 Political Morality of Voting in Direct Democracy

by Michael Serota and Ethan J. Leib

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 [...]

Interpreting Initiatives

by Michael D. Gilbert

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 [...]

Campaign Finance in the Hybrid Realm of Recall Elections

by Elizabeth Garrett

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 [...]

Campaign Disclosure in Direct Democracy

by Michael Kang

Direct Democracy and Campaigns Against Minorities

by Todd Donovan

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 [...]

When Is It OK to Limit Direct Democracy?

by Shaun Bowler

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 [...]

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