To criticize the trend toward direct democracy appears reactionary, if not un-American. Yet, as suggested earlier, the growing reliance on the referendum and initiative poses a threat to individual rights in general and in particular creates a crisis for the rights of racial and other discrete minorities. This article seeks to explain why this is so and how courts might use existing constitutional principles to recognize legitimate interests in direct legislation, yet protect minority rights against majoritarian abuse.
Derrick A. Bell, Jr.,
Washington Law Review Lecture Series,
The Referendum: Democracy's Barrier to Racial Equality,
54 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol54/iss1/3