Direct Democracy and the Courts, Miller-Rose Institute Initiative Database, Receive Praise

In the September 2010 issue of the Election Law Journal, University of Virginia law professor Michael D. Gilbert reviewed Rose Institute Associate Director Ken Miller’s recent book, Direct Democracy and the Courts. Gilbert wrote that Miller’s book “makes an impressive contribution to scholarship in this field” by blending “history, institutional analysis, case law, and comprehensive data to tell the story of propositions, courts, and the constitutions that bind them.”

The reviewer observed that “Miller’s book bridges two fields of scholarship. The first comprises mostly positive, descriptive work on direct democracy by social scientists who generally do not pay sustained attention to the law.  The second comprises normative work on democracy by legal scholars who focus mostly on interpretation and judicial review.”

Gilbert noted that the heart of the book analyzes conflicts between ballot initiatives and the judiciary.  Miller presents original data on post-election challenges to initiatives adopted between 1904 and 2008 in the five ‘strongest’ initiative states–California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Arizona.  This part of the book draws directly from the Miller-Rose Institute Initiative Database.  According to Gilbert, this “rich database, continually updated and available to the public has immense value” as a resource to social scientists, legal scholars, activists, and policymakers.

The Miller-Rose Institute Initiative Database is available at

The review is titled, Michael D. Gilbert, “Direct Democracy, Courts, and Majority Will,” Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. September 2010, 9(3): 211-214.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.