"Direct Democracy Could Sometimes Crush the Interests of a Minority in Society"

What’s wrong with a public referendum for a charter school? It’s “democratic,” right? Why not subject each aspiring charter to a public vote, as proposed in Assembly Bill 1877?

From today’s New York Times (regarding a Federal lawsuit in Colorado):
One professor of constitutional law, Wilson R. Huhn at the University of Akron School of Law in Ohio, said that recent scholarly research supported the Madisonian notion that direct democracy could sometimes crush the interests of a minority in society — in votes, for example, to ban same-sex marriage.
Sometimes it takes leadership from legislators, which is why Gov. Christie’s suggestion that NJ hold a public referendum on same-sex marriage has elicited scorn from civil rights heroes like John Lewis. Here’s Representative Lewis’s remarks:
"Apparently the governor of the state has not read his recent history books. We would never have won (civil rights for African-Americans with a referendum). The actions of Congress and executive orders brought down those signs that said 'colored only' and 'whites only. If two women or two men want to get married, that is a question of human dignity and of human rights," Lewis said. "The day will come when people look back at this and say 'we were just silly.'"
Congressman Rush Holt added, "For the governor to say a referendum should replace courage - that shows he doesn't understand history.”

For the sponsors of A 1877 to advocate public approval for a new charter shows that they don't understand history.