• Why Direct Democracy is The Best Protection for Abortion Rights

    by Rachel Rebouché and Mary Ziegler

    Given the chance to vote directly on abortion rights, voters have been swayed by personal experience and shared stories to protect reproductive freedom and leave the choice in the hands of women, not politicians. 

  • The Constitution's Support for Oligarchy

    Jonathan Gienapp says that the Framers made deliberate choices to make the Constitution a bulwark against what they saw as the danger of broad-based democracy. 

  • Eric Foner on the Study of History and Democracy

    "I’m always interested in the connections between past and present. The questions that interest me historically tend to come out of the moment I’m living in."

  • "Independent State Legislature" Legal Theory Based in Fake History

    Charles Pinckney's ideas for the Constitution were rejected by the framers. Years later, he produced fake documents to aggrandize his own role at the convention. Right-wing legal activists have used them to argue that state legislatures can decide election results however they want. 

  • Can We Do Better than Liberal Democracy?

    by Adam Gopnik

    Critic Adam Gopnik examines two recent books on alternatives to representative democracy that respond to the recent use of institutions by power-seeking authoritarians. 

  • American Democracy Wasn't Built to be Democratic

    by Louis Menand

    In a review essay of several books diagnosing the maladies of American democracy, Louis Menand concludes that the system itself is working as designed: to thwart popular rule. 

  • What Happens When SCOTUS is This Unpopular?

    It's not unprecedented for Justices to shift their positions when confronted with public outrage, but five of the current members of the court have explicitly declared their indifference to public outcry, and understand there's little to constrain their future decisions. 

  • Thoroughly Modern Maxie: Robespierre and His Legacy for Democracy Today

    by Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

    "If Robespierre was not by nature a murderous despot, who was he and what does he have to teach us – especially at a time, like that of the French Revolution, when progressives and liberals are divided about how to prioritize the rights of minoritized groups?"

  • Time to Amend the Constitution

    by Don Fraser

    Significant changes are needed to the Constitution in order to preserve any semblance of democratic government. 

  • History Offers Warning that Some Crises of Civic Virtue are Overblown

    by Bruce Dearstyne

    The American Bar Association's Committee on American Citizenship warned in 1922 of a decline in civic awareness that threatened the very survival of the republic. A century later, it offers a lesson that sometimes warnings of democratic peril are self-serving. 

  • The Second Floundering

    by Brook Thomas

    Although scholars have identified the Reconstruction Amendments as a redemption of the flaws of the original Constitution, it's important to understand, as critics did at the time, that the 14th and 15th Amendments left many gaps in the American democracy.