citizen law, direct democracy, petitions


As Justice Thurgood Marshall once said, “Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.” Democracy is essential to the American political system. Direct democracy, however, exists in only twenty-four states. Known as citizen lawmaking, direct democracy allows citizens to place constitutional amendments and statutes on statewide ballots without legislative support or intervention. It places power directly into the hands of citizens through a petition process that cumulates in voters making the ultimate decision.