About the Michigan Journal of Race & Law

The Michigan Journal of Race & Law is a legal journal that serves as a forum for the exploration of issues relating to race and law. To that end, MJR&L publishes articles, notes, and essays on the cutting edge of civil rights scholarship from a wide variety of scholarly perspectives. MJR&L’s diversity is reflected by the authors with whom we collaborate, ranging from scholars and students to practitioners and social scientists.

Our symposium issue, Vol. 21.2, is now available!

MJR&L SYMPOSIUM Innocent Until Proven Poor: Fighting the Criminalization of Poverty, Feb 19-20, 2016

Featured Blog Post: The September PCAST Report: The State of DNA in Criminal Courtrooms and the Need for a Well-Informed, Disciplined Judiciary by Madeleine Jennings

On September 20, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report on the state of the forensic sciences in criminal courts. In recent years, PCAST has issued similar reports on many issues in science and technology, including hearing technologies, education technology, antibiotic resistance, and the future of cities, to name a few. The September report discusses the criteria through which courts assess the scientific validity of certain forensic methods and offers recommendations for their improvement and implementation. It provides a welcome resource for forensic scientists and the judiciary, and its issuance is significant, both practically and symbolically.

Featured Blog Post: Michigan Emergency Manager Law Upheld by Sixth Circuit by Marcus Baldori

On September 12, 2016, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Michigan’s controversial emergency manager law in a 3-0 decision. In general, the law provides that, when certain financial triggers are met, a state-appointed emergency manager will temporarily replace local governments to resolve the financial issue. The court decided that the emergency manager law, also known as Public Act 436, did not restrict the voting rights of residents in financially distressed cities and did not amount to “viewpoint discrimination” (a First Amendment violation).

Featured Blog Post: The Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access Pipeline: Just the Beginning by Laura Page

After months of protests, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe recently celebrated a minor victory, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granting a temporary injunction of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  In its decision, the court emphasized that the injunction was merely temporary and “should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits” of the Tribe’s appeal for permanent injunction.