News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for July 21st, 2021

The Citing Slavery Project

The Citing Slavery Project is the brainchild of Justin Simard, an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University College of Law.  The project provides a database of slave cases and the modern cases that continue to cite them as precedent.  According to Simard’s Stanford Law Review article on the topic (72 Stan. L. Rev. 79 (2020)) “Judges cite slavery to explicate the law of contracts, property, evidence, civil procedure, criminal procedure, statutory interpretation, torts, and many other fields. For the most part, judges cite these cases without acknowledging that the cases grew out of American slavery and without considering that a case’s slave origins might lessen its persuasive authority. Nor do they examine the dignitary harms that the citation of slavery may impose. In citing slavery, lawyers thus demonstrate a myopic historical perspective that creates legal harms and reveals the ethical limitations of their profession.”

Simard played a part in lobbying the Bluebook to make a change to rule 10.7.1 based on the above.