Law of Democracy

The will of the people shall be the law of the land. Constitutions, statutes, and ... government are but instruments to carry out the will of the people, and when they fail ... they must be changed to carry out and express the ... will of the people. For over all and above all, and greater than all, and expressing the supreme sovereignty of all, are the people.
~ Fighting Bob La Follette
No great idea in its beginning can ever be within the law. How can it be within the law? The law is stationary. The law is fixed. The law is a chariot wheel which binds us all regardless of conditions or place or time.
~ Emma Goldman Liberty Tree is committed to raising up and renewing a crucial area of the law: the law of democracy. Read here for resources on new approaches to making the law more accessible, transparent, and above all, directly accountable to the people.

Direct Legislation Resources

September 28, 2009

February 8, 2006: Council Ordered To Address Iraq Issue
Description: A judge orders city council of Watertown, Wisconsin to decide whether it will vote on a resolution to withdraw US troops from Iraq or let it proceed to referendum. The judge found it a legislative matter and proper for the council to consider. Advisory referenda are proper subjects for direct legislation.

 

STUDY GUIDE: Benson Scotch on war powers, defense policy, and the National Guard

March 22, 2009

RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW WHERE IT MATTERS MOST:

The new debate over war powers, defense policy,
and the National Guard

This study memo–maybe more dependent on computer literacy than on a knowledge of Latin legal maxims–consists of three features: The author’s narrative, documents or parts of documents integrated into the syllabus for easy reference, and links to the full texts of these documents as well as to other documents.

Many, many thanks to Ben Manski of the Liberty Tree Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Law School for creating this opportunity for dialogue.

BACON: A constitutional right to an education

November 29, 2009
David Bacon

Is there a “constitutional right to education”?

Legal scholar and civil rights advocate Erwin Chemerinsky says there is. “There has to be a right to education in the Constitution,” he declares, “and equal protection is a Constitutional imperative.”

But according to Chemerinsky, this right has been fundamentally undermined by the Supreme Court. With the retirement of Justice David Souter, and the posible retirement in the next few years of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens, the role of the court in defending the right to education will be thrust into the national spotlight. What role might their replacements play in guaranteeing education to American children, and reversing the conservative momentum of the last three decades?

COBB: The Case Against Judicial Review

November 15, 2009
David Cobb

for POCLAD.org

"Judicial Review" is not a term familiar to most Americans, but it should be. The concept is a profoundly important operational underpinning of the United States legal system. Anyone working to make this country a more peaceful, just, ecologically sustainable, and democratic place should be eager to examine this basic doctrine.

Additional Information: 

David Cobb is a Liberty Tree Fellow and a member of the POCLAD Board.

SWANSON: A Second Bill of Rights

October 11, 2009
David Swanson

This is the second of three excerpts from Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union (Seven Stories Press) by David Swanson published here by the kind permission of the publisher. David Swanson is a member of Liberty Tree's Board of Advisors

In places where we are not already protected, or where we have been shown to be vulnerable over the last eight years or before, legislation and amendments can be used to expand our existing rights and establish entirely new ones. All of our rights, new and old, should be properly protected by placing violations of them in the criminal code.

1. The Right to Vote

FIRST VIDEO: Who Decides About War?

October 3, 2009

Location:
Georgetown Law School

You don't have to wait any longer: The initial video is in from Who Decides About War?, the National Conference on War Powers, Law, and Democracy. This exciting conference took place on October 2nd and 3rd at the Georgetown School of Law, and featured over one hundred participants from 18 states.

Participants included veterans, military family members, journalists, lawyers, law students, professors, and other advocates of a more democratic, peaceful system of national defense.

SWANSON: Who SHOULD Decide About War?

October 3, 2009
David Swanson

Location:
Georgetown Law School

Remarks at http://whodecidesaboutwar.org conference

Who actually does: the media, weapons companies, the permanent government, presidents (including simply by decreeing a "war on terror", through misspending, lying, simply acting, signing treaties), political parties, culture (the one Biden lives in, in which Israel's sovereign right to attack Iran is uncontroversial), soldiers who obey illegal orders and the culture that leads kids to that place.

Who should decide: we the people of the world, through democratically created and enforced international and national and state laws.

LETNAR CERNIC: Corporate abuses require stronger international, national legal regimes

May 14, 2009
Jernej Letnar Černič

The US government published in February 2009 its decision that it will not renew its contract with the private security corporation formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide. Such a decision comes as no surprise given the allegations of killing 17 civilians by Blackwater guards, coupled with the Iraqi government's refusal to extend Blackwater's operating license. This case, however, opens again a number of conundrums relating to legal accountability for corporations and its employees for human rights violations. In short, how do we provide effective legal remedies to victims for human rights violations by or involving corporations? This comment therefore briefly explores the weaknesses of the current framework for corporate accountability for human rights.

Additional Information: 

Jernej Letnar Černič, JURIST HOTLINE
Researcher, Institute for European, Constitutional,
International Law and Law of Economics

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/hotline/2009/05/corporate-human-rights-abuses-require.php

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