Call for Submissions: Special Issue of the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Posted by Benjamin Halom, community karma 1037

Special Issue (Spring 2022): 

The Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties (CRCL) at Stanford Law School seeks articles for a Special Issue focusing on how movements for civil liberties strategically navigate hostile courts.

For this special issue, we especially welcome work from activists, practitioners, government officials, and other stakeholders.

About the Special Issue

As the court system has increasingly turned against the expansion of civil liberties as well as political and economic democracy, activists have needed to adopt new strategies for confronting an unfriendly legal landscape. This year CRCL’s Special Issue seeks to highlight these strategies, focusing on how social movements have maneuvered around hostile laws in order to create change in both the past and the present. In particular, we invite papers that center power and autonomy as core concepts within constitutional and civil rights law, in addition to goals of legal rights and federal protection.

Questions of power and autonomy are already becoming increasingly central in civil rights and constitutional law, and in a broad variety of substantive areas including labor law, federal Indian law, reproductive justice, criminal justice, and voting rights. Focusing on power and autonomy raises a variety of questions for practitioners and theorists of civil rights law, including:

  • What is the role of lawyers in assisting or facilitating movements to build power, and how does this differ from civil rights litigation as currently practiced?

  • When is avoiding hostile courts a meaningful strategy for building power and autonomy, and how can the decision to turn to or avoid courts be made?

  • Through which avenues can movements for civil rights build power outside of the courts and the federal state? What is the role of state and local governments or courts?

  • How do movements for civil rights outside of the courts and federal state engage directly with communities? 

  • What would “success” in this context look like? What strategies to advance civil rights in the face of hostile federal courts/government have been successful in the past?

  • How have existing systems responded to movements to advance civil rights in this way? How does this history inform future efforts?

We are interested in writing that engages with any of these questions, or any other topic touching on efforts to advance civil rights through building power and autonomy in the face of hostile courts.


Submitted articles will preferably be under 25,000 words in length (approximately 80 double-spaced pages or 50 law review pages) with citations for all statements of fact. CRCL prefers articles with a clear thesis or argument that can materially advance discussions surrounding the topic, both within academia and among practitioners. Law journal formatting is encouraged, but not required for submitted manuscripts. Additional information, including an archive of past issues, is available at


Articles should be submitted by Nov. 30, 2021. Authors will be notified by Dec. 5, 2021 regarding publication decisions. Please follow up with the submissions committee if your piece is under review elsewhere and you require expedited review.

over 1 year ago