Government of the People, by the People, and for the People?
The second Showcase Panel at the the Federalist Society’s 2010 National Lawyers Convention. November 19, 2010.
Prof. Epstein, as usual, has some thoughts on practicalities. (He’s wrong about the V-N War, though. What can I say, he’s a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn. And among other things he did time at Berkeley.)
Very interesting discussion, and the gentlemen all are. :>)
From the description:
Direct democracy is feasible today to an extent that it was not feasible in 1787. Does that change the calculus in choosing between direct democracy and representation? What lessons, positive or negative, can be learned from the state experience with initiatives and referenda? Should Congress set up a system of national initiatives and referenda? Can Congress delegate its legislative power to the American people without violating the nondelegation doctrine? Should national initiatives and referenda be binding or merely advisory? Would it be acceptable for a national referendum to alter a law so as to effectively reverse a Supreme Court decision? Should the health care law be subject to such a referendum? Should increases in the national debt or in taxes be subject to voter approval?
In order of appearance:
Steven G. Calabresi — Moderator (Introduction, 6:32)
Panelists, speaking roughly 15 min. each:
William N. Eskridge, Jr. — Yale
Richard A. Epstein (at ~19:40) — NYU, U. of Chicago
Robert D. Cooter — Berkeley
Thomas W. Merrill — Columbia
Then the moderator puts a few questions, and finally there’s Q&A from the audience.