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Current & Recent Research at Penn Law

File: [View Document]
Author: Persily, Nathaniel
Citation: Regulating Democracy Through Democracy: the Use of Direct Legislation in Election Law Reform (Symposium on the Impact of Direct Democracy), 78 S. CAL. L. REV. 997 (2005) (with Melissa Cully Anderson).
Date Published: 2005
Date Posted: 02/21/2005
Subjects: Government and Legislation
Public Law and the Constitution
Keywords: Politics
Comparative Law
Constitutional Law
Law and Society
The study examines a wealth of election law reforms -- term limits (for governor
and state legislators), campaign finance reform (contribution limits and public
funding), redistricting (pre-Baker v. Carr and creation of commissions), creation
and regulation of primaries, and women's suffrage -- to figure out whether
differences exist between the election law regimes in initiative and
non-initiative states and whether these differences (if any) might be attributed
to the use of the initiative process. We find that in very few cases --
legislative term limits and perhaps redistricting commissions -- do initiative
states differ noticeably from non-initiative states, and in most initiative states
election reforms pass through normal legislative means. However, in some cases,
such as with contribution limits, laws passed through the initiative process
differ in character from those passed through the legislature.