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.


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: MJR&L Seeks Scholarship Reflecting on the 2016 Election

Reminder: Final manuscripts are due this Sunday, January 15, 2017, by 11:59 p.m.

In response to the 2016 United States presidential election and its potential impact on marginalized communities, the Michigan Journal of Race and Law will publish a themed volume.


Presidential Election 2016: Why Democrats’ Frustration with Shelby County May Be Misdirected by Ali Boyd

In the absence of Congressional action, voting rights advocates will have to rely on individual litigation to fight back new restrictive voting rights laws as they pop up.  This can be done based on a variety of claims – Section 2 of the VRA, Equal Protection, the 15th Amendment, as well as the one-person, one-vote doctrine. However, individual litigation is unlikely to have as wide an impact as updated legislation.  While litigation certainly should not be abandoned, Democrats moving forward should focus their efforts on pushing an updated coverage formula to the VRA through Congress.  As Sensenbrenner puts it, “Without a modernized Voting Rights Act, there’s no such things as an honest election.”

Featured Blog Post: Sanctuary Cities Resist Donald Trump’s Plan to Withhold Federal Funding by Anonymous

Many sanctuary cities have responded to Mr. Trump’s election by declaring that, despite Mr. Trump’s proposed policy, they will continue to shelter undocumented immigrants from detention and deportation and provide opportunities for undocumented immigrants to access certain government services. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio came to the defense of undocumented New Yorkers, saying “We are not going to sacrifice a half a million people who live among us, who are part of our community. We are not going to tear families apart.” He also said that he would not turn over a database containing identifying information of undocumented immigrants who have received IDNYC cards without a “real fight,” implying he may delete the database before providing it to the federal government.

Featured Blog Post: Flint Residents Still Searching for Justice by Rita Samaan

To this day, Flint residents cannot trust the water flowing from their taps. Why is it taking so long to get clean water for Flint’s residents? Does it inform our answer if we consider that the city’s majority population is African American and that Flint is one of the most impoverished cities in the country?


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