Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Michigan Journal of Race and Law For a quarter century, MJR&L at the University of Michigan has been a preeminent source of diverse and critical legal scholarship in the areas of race and civil rights.

The Michigan Journal of Race & Law is nationally acclaimed for its cutting edge scholarship on a wide range of race and civil rights issues. MJR&L's output reflects the innumerable intersections of race and civil rights with the legal system. This has allowed for varied and pointed coverage of topics such as critical race theory, law & economics, immigration, education, criminal law, housing and labor, free speech, environmental justice and beyond. MJR&L takes pride in embracing a pluralistic, interdisciplinary perspective, publishing writings from scholars, students, practitioners, and the occasional "non-legal" intellectual, e.g. journalists, social scientists, and other learned commentators. Over the course of twenty-one hard volumes and counting, alongside a growing wealth of online content, MJR&L has risen to the forefront as a premier law journal covering such issues.

Mission: This page contains opinion pieces by members of the Journal's editorial staff on race & law issues. The views expressed in an individual post represent the views of the post's author only.

Operating as usual

We are excited to announce & introduce the formation of our Advisory Board! Follow the below link for more. Thank you to...
06/29/2020
Introducing Our New Advisory Board

We are excited to announce & introduce the formation of our Advisory Board! Follow the below link for more. Thank you to our inaugural board members for joining us on this journey: Professors Guy-Uriel Charles, J.D. ’97, Matthew L.M. Fletcher, J.D. ’97, Emily Houh, J.D. ’96, Meera Deo, J.D. ’00, Ph.D, and Amna Akbar, J.D. '04.
https://mjrl.org/2020/06/29/introducing-our-new-advisory-board/

The Michigan Journal of Race and Law is excited to announce and introduce the formation of our Advisory Board! The Advisory Board will help provide mentorship, commentary, and editorial assistance …

We, the editors of Michigan Journal of Race and Law, are horrified by recent events and stand in solidarity with the Bla...
05/31/2020

We, the editors of Michigan Journal of Race and Law, are horrified by recent events and stand in solidarity with the Black community in light of the murder and loss of so many Black lives to police brutality/vigilantism in the past couple of weeks.

We demand #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd #JusticeforAhmaudArbery #JusticeforBreonnaTaylor #JusticeforTonyMcDade #JusticeforRobertJohnsonJr #JusticeforSeanReed #JusticeforKerryBounsom and for the many other Black lives that are lost to violent, racist acts.

We condemn the police violence that has taken these Black lives. We condemn the police's use of force against protesters.

In the spirit of allyship and solidarity, MJR&L is donating $354 to Black Visions Collective and the Detroit Justice Bail Fund. We encourage everyone to donate to these organizations or other bail funds if they are able. #BlackLivesMatter.

We are thrilled to introduce the Volume 26 Editorial Board! We are beyond excited for a new year of promoting progressiv...
04/28/2020

We are thrilled to introduce the Volume 26 Editorial Board! We are beyond excited for a new year of promoting progressive, intersectional legal scholarship that centers race. https://mjrl.org/masthead/

Michigan Journal of Race and Law's cover photo
04/22/2020

Michigan Journal of Race and Law's cover photo

Michigan Journal of Race and Law
04/22/2020

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Earlier this year, Johns Hopkins announced that it had quietly stopped legacy admissions policies over 10 years ago. Tod...
03/07/2020
An Elite College Has Dropped Legacy Admissions—It’s Time for Other Higher Education Institutions To Do the Same - Center for American Progress

Earlier this year, Johns Hopkins announced that it had quietly stopped legacy admissions policies over 10 years ago. Today, children of alumni are 3x more likely to get into the nation's top 30 universities than nonlegacy students. #education #diversity
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2020/01/30/479940/elite-college-dropped-legacy-admissions-time-higher-education-institutions/

Legacy admissions policies have racist origins and continue to exclude underrepresented students of color.

BLOG: Associate Editor Raul Noguera-McElroy scrutinizes the U.S. Supreme Court's 1981 decision in Lassiter v. Department...
03/05/2020
The Necessity of Revisiting and Overturning Lassiter v. Department of Social Services

BLOG: Associate Editor Raul Noguera-McElroy scrutinizes the U.S. Supreme Court's 1981 decision in Lassiter v. Department of Social Services, which said that parents do not have a constitutional right to counsel in termination of parental rights hearings.
https://mjrl.org/2020/03/01/the-necessity-of-revisiting-and-overturning-lassiter-v-department-of-social-services/

by Raul Noguera-McElroy Associate Editor, Vol. 25 Part I: Overview Last term, I discussed how white supremacy animates the child welfare system’s aggressive push to terminate the bond between a par…

Though state and local governments spend billions to hire contractors, most contracts go to white-owned businesses despi...
03/04/2020
Disparities In Government Contracting Hurt Minority-Owned Businesses

Though state and local governments spend billions to hire contractors, most contracts go to white-owned businesses despite decades of diversity policies. #race #government #contracting
https://www.npr.org/2020/02/20/807126443/disparities-in-government-contracting-hurt-minority-owned-businesses

Despite affirmative action goals meant to make up for disparities, white-owned businesses win most of the bids for government work. And in many places the numbers are getting worse.

The race to fill the vacancy in the Illinois Supreme Court created by Justice Freeman's retirement has reignited the deb...
03/03/2020
Diversity on the docket in state Supreme Court race

The race to fill the vacancy in the Illinois Supreme Court created by Justice Freeman's retirement has reignited the debate over the importance of diversity on the bench, with some hoping that it will retain an African American vote. #law #race #illinois
https://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/2020/2/25/21151572/state-supreme-court-freeman-neville-howse-harris-reyes-mcbride-epstein-cobbs

How important is racial diversity on the state’s top court? James Montgomery Sr. thinks it’s crucial. The veteran lawyer was corporation counsel under Mayor Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor.

BLOG: Associate Editor Amanda Stephens looks at California's recent efforts at #criminaljustice reform and questions whe...
03/03/2020
Criminal Justice Reform: Has California Done Enough?

BLOG: Associate Editor Amanda Stephens looks at California's recent efforts at #criminaljustice reform and questions whether the state has done enough to curb #massincarceration. One problem: the focus on "nonviolent offenders" leaves many behind.
https://mjrl.org/2020/03/01/criminal-justice-reform-has-california-done-enough/

by Amanda Stephens Associate Editor, Vol. 25 2.2 million people are incarcerated in the United States.[1] Of those millions of people, 67% of those individuals are people of color.[2] This fact is …

03/02/2020
www.nyls.edu

New study by the Race Justice Project at @NYLawSchool found that "Traffc debt suspensions disproportionately harm New Yorkers of color." Even worse, these suspensions are "unrelated to traffic safety." https://tinyurl.com/wnw8mcd

BLOG: Associate Editor Edith Lerner explains how the #familyseparation crisis at the border is far from over, and how th...
03/01/2020
Updates on the Separation and Reunification of Families at the Border

BLOG: Associate Editor Edith Lerner explains how the #familyseparation crisis at the border is far from over, and how the Trump Administration has maneuvered to continue this odious policy despite court orders demanding that families be reunited.
https://mjrl.org/2020/02/10/updates-on-the-separation-and-reunification-of-families-at-the-border/

by Edith Lerner Associate Editor, Vol. 25 It might seem odd for me to being writing a blog post about family separation in February 2020. For many Americans, the “family separation crisis” defined …

Washington could become the fourth state to outlaw race-based #HairDiscrimination. A panel of state lawmakers heard pass...
02/09/2020
Washington Lawmakers Consider Ban On Race-based Hair Discrimination

Washington could become the fourth state to outlaw race-based #HairDiscrimination. A panel of state lawmakers heard passionate and unanimous testimony in favor of legislation that would define race to include traits such as hair texture and hairstyles.
https://www.opb.org/news/article/washington-legislature-discrimination-hair-race-bill/

On Tuesday, a panel of state lawmakers heard passionate -- and unanimous -- testimony in favor of legislation that would define race to include traits such as hair texture and hairstyles like Afros, braids, locs and twists.

As the potential result of cultural bias and historic lack of representation, Black, Asian, and minority ethnic students...
02/08/2020
Can universities decolonise the curriculum?

As the potential result of cultural bias and historic lack of representation, Black, Asian, and minority ethnic students make up 22.3% of all master's graduates but only 11.5% of humanities postgraduates. #diversity #education #humanities
https://www.theguardian.com/global/2020/jan/27/im-used-to-being-the-only-brown-person-in-the-room-why-the-humanities-have-a-diversity-problem

Cultural bias and a lack of plurality of voices may account for low numbers of BAME postgraduates in subjects such as history and philosophy

This week, @CosechaMovement Massachusetts launched a hunger strike to demand the advance of the #LicensesForAll bill tha...
02/06/2020
Manejando Sin Miedo

This week, @CosechaMovement Massachusetts launched a hunger strike to demand the advance of the #LicensesForAll bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses in the state. #ImmigrantRights https://manejandosinmiedo.com/home

Every day millions of immigrant parents and workers get up in the morning to go to work or to leave our children in school. Many of us have to do it by foot, using public transportation, or we ask for a ride because we don’t want to run any risks. Many other take the risk and drive because we have...

BLOG: Associate Editor Tamar Alexanian highlights the recent efforts that some states have made to combat #HairDiscrimin...
02/06/2020
The CROWN Act: Fighting Hair Discrimination with Legislation

BLOG: Associate Editor Tamar Alexanian highlights the recent efforts that some states have made to combat #HairDiscrimination, which is either overtly #racist or just happens to cut against racial minorities.
https://mjrl.org/2020/02/03/the-crown-act-fighting-hair-discrimination-with-legislation/

By Tamar Alexanian Associate Editor, Vol. 25 In December of 2018, black New Jersey high school wrestler Andrew Johnson was forced to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his wrestling match.[1] Although J…

BLOG: Associate Editor Jonah Rosenbaum highlights how Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign and moderate policy proposa...
01/29/2020
Pete Buttigieg’s Bold Ideas?

BLOG: Associate Editor Jonah Rosenbaum highlights how Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign and moderate policy proposals have failed to attract interest from minority voters. It begs the question--is he even trying to reach out to minorities?
https://mjrl.org/2020/01/26/pete-buttigiegs-bold-ideas/

By Jonah Rosenbaum Associate Editor, Vol. 25   As Pete Buttigieg surged into being a serious contender for the Democratic nomination, aided in part by a not so subtle push from a fawning media…

Powerful words by @nhannahjones, presenting on the NYTimes's 1619 Project at University of Michigan. What if America fin...
01/29/2020

Powerful words by @nhannahjones, presenting on the NYTimes's 1619 Project at University of Michigan. What if America finally realizes that Black people have never been the problem, but are rather the solution? #1619Project #wallacehouse

01/28/2020
Combatting White Supremacy: The Pressing Need to Make the Baseless “Scientific” Origins of Race and Their Place in Society Part of American Curriculum

BLOG: Associate Editor Matthew Fellows calls out some influential contemporary voices who still promote bogus "race science" to push a white nationalist agenda, and he proposes school curriculum reforms to combat racism. https://mjrl.org/2020/01/23/combatting-white-supremacy-the-pressing-need-to-make-the-baseless-scientific-origins-of-race-and-their-place-in-society-part-of-american-curriculum/

By Matthew Fellows Associate Editor, Vol. 25 Race is a human invention. Although made up, race theories in their inception were offered and accepted as constituting natural scientific fact. The hie…

While more young people of color have enrolled in schools across the country, the racial gap between teachers and studen...
01/27/2020
America’s schools are more diverse than ever, yet teachers are still mostly white

While more young people of color have enrolled in schools across the country, the racial gap between teachers and students has widened. In nearly every school district, students of color outpace teachers of color. #race #education
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/local/education/teacher-diversity/

Minority students, particularly Latinos, are on the rise, but few of their classes are taught by teachers of the same race.

In a recent study of 108 urban areas nationwide, researchers found that neighborhoods with higher temperatures were ofte...
01/25/2020
Racist Housing Practices From The 1930s Linked To Hotter Neighborhoods Today

In a recent study of 108 urban areas nationwide, researchers found that neighborhoods with higher temperatures were often the same ones subjected to discriminatory, race-based housing practices nearly a century ago. #race #inequality #housinginjustice
https://www.npr.org/2020/01/14/795961381/racist-housing-practices-from-the-1930s-linked-to-hotter-neighborhoods-today

A study of more than 100 cities nationwide shows neighborhoods subjected to discriminatory housing policies nearly a century ago are hotter today than other areas.

The Fifth Circuit revived a racial discrimination case by a staffing agency against a Dallas hospital: the staffing agen...
01/23/2020
5th Circ. Says Staffing Co. Can Pursue Race Bias Suit - Law360

The Fifth Circuit revived a racial discrimination case by a staffing agency against a Dallas hospital: the staffing agency doesn't need a corporate racial identity to pursue claims that the hospital preferred Hispanic workers to Black workers. #raceandlaw
https://www.law360.com/articles/1234950/5th-circ-says-staffing-co-can-pursue-race-bias-suit

The Fifth Circuit revived a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by White Glove Staffing Inc. against a Dallas hospital, saying the staffing agency doesn't need to have a corporate racial identity under federal law to pursue claims the hospital preferred Hispanic workers to black workers.

“Black students are more than 3x as likely as their white peers to be expelled or suspended. Less frequently discussed a...
01/21/2020
What’s Lost When Black Children Are Socialized Into a White World

“Black students are more than 3x as likely as their white peers to be expelled or suspended. Less frequently discussed are the strategies Black parents use to prepare their children for schools where they might be perceived as threats.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/11/how-black-mothers-prepare-their-children-school/599578/

I interviewed dozens of black mothers about how they help their kids navigate schools where they might be perceived as threats or made to feel unwelcome.

In celebration of #MLKDay, Michigan Law hosted Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who gave a presentation about the underrecog...
01/21/2020
Michigan Law School on Twitter

In celebration of #MLKDay, Michigan Law hosted Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who gave a presentation about the underrecognized African American women who played leading roles in the civil rights era. #civilrights
https://twitter.com/UMichLaw/status/1219396908499664897

“It was standing room only for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's lecture about the "invisible" black women leaders in the civil rights era. She demonstrated the pivotal role the women played in the movement, & each was remembered for their courage, purpose, and authenticity. #MLKDay”

In celebration of #MLKDay, Michigan Law hosted Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who gave a presentation about the underrecog...
01/21/2020
Michigan Law School on Twitter

In celebration of #MLKDay, Michigan Law hosted Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who gave a presentation about the underrecognized African American women who played leading roles in the civil rights era. #civilrights
https://twitter.com/UMichLaw/status/1219396908499664897

“It was standing room only for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's lecture about the "invisible" black women leaders in the civil rights era. She demonstrated the pivotal role the women played in the movement, & each was remembered for their courage, purpose, and authenticity. #MLKDay”

California #educationlaw will now refer to those with economic or social challenges as "at-promise" students. Advocates ...
01/18/2020
Changing the conversation about “at-risk” students in California

California #educationlaw will now refer to those with economic or social challenges as "at-promise" students. Advocates hope the impact will be more than just a semantic shift and that it will help shift the way that educators think and address children.
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/11/05/changing-conversation-about-%e2%80%9c-risk%e2%80%9d-students-california

California education law will now refer to those with economic or social challenges as "at-promise" students. Advocates hope the impact will be more than just a semantic shift.

While Black and Latinx people have made progress in educational attainment, their odds of having a good job are not as g...
01/15/2020
The Unequal Race for Good Jobs

While Black and Latinx people have made progress in educational attainment, their odds of having a good job are not as good as those of White workers with the same level of education, reflecting persistent racial disparities in the workforce. https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/raceandgoodjobs/

Equity gaps remain in access to good jobs. While Blacks and Latinos are underrepresented in good jobs, Whites hold a disproportionate share of good jobs relative to their share of overall employment.

01/15/2020

Happy New Year from the Michigan Journal of Race & Law! MLaw students return to class today for the Winter semester.

Stay tuned for news about our upcoming symposium, as well as more blog posts, more articles about race from across the web, and potentially a new journal logo!

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