We are pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue of the Nevada Law Journal on state laws that have expanded or would in the future expand individual civil rights beyond those accorded by federal law and its interpretation by the federal judiciary.
Recent judicial appointments have yielded a conservative 6-3 majority on the U.S. Supreme Court as well as a large percentage of non-diverse, conservative judges on the lower federal benches. Combined with a decades-old propensity of federal judges liberally to grant motions to dismiss and for summary judgment in federal civil rights cases and the U.S. Congress’s failure to overturn limiting interpretations of federal civil rights law, these recent appointments will likely further frustrate effective enforcement of civil rights. The federal court advantage for defendants has become so pronounced that failure to remove a civil rights claim initially filed in state court is regarded as borderline malpractice.
A future of primarily federal court litigation will likely be one of fewer protections against identity-based discrimination in employment, voting, housing, public accommodations, and other crucial areas. In response, progressive state legislative bodies have taken up the challenge of protecting their residents’ civil rights by enacting civil rights legislation that grants greater rights to individuals and that allows state court judges to interpret the state law with more robust protection of civil rights. This legislation has already played an important role in filling the gap left by weak federal protections of individual rights and has the potential to continue to play an increasing role in protecting civil rights.
This Nevada Law Journal Issue seeks to foster interdisciplinary research and analysis, both empirical and theoretical, of state legislation that has been passed or that could be enacted to fill the gaps left open by federal law by granting greater protection to individual civil rights.
Interested parties should submit abstracts of at least 375 words (we encourage longer abstracts; draft papers are also permitted) to firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading “Call for Papers.” We seek proposals for short essays and for longer articles (30,000 words or fewer). Abstracts are due on or before June 7, 2021. We will notify authors of the acceptance of their proposals by June 14, 2021. Completed first drafts of essays and articles will be due on October 4, 2021. Submissions will be published in Volume 22, Issue 3 of the Nevada Law Journal, in April or May 2022.