Wednesday, May 6, 2020

PUBLICATION OPPORTUNITY - Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Criminal Law Opinions

Call for Authors


Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Criminal Law Opinions


The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and commentary on those opinions for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Criminal Law Opinions. This edited volume is part of a collaborative project among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions. The initial volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court, edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. Subsequent volumes in the series have focused on different courts and different subjects. This call is for contributions to a volume of criminal law decisions rewritten from a feminist perspective.

Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Criminal Law Opinion editors Sarah Deer, Corey Rayburn Yung, and Bennett Capers seek prospective authors to rewrite criminal law opinions covering a range of topics. With the help of an Advisory Committee, the editors have chosen a list of cases to be rewritten (as noted below). Potential authors are welcome to suggest other cases, though certain constraints (including a preference for avoiding cases that have already been or soon will be rewritten for other volumes in this series) may preclude their addition to the volume. We also seek authors to provide brief commentary on the original and rewritten cases.

Rewritten opinions may be reimagined majority opinions, dissents, or concurrences, as appropriate to the court. Feminist judgment writers will be bound by law and precedent in effect at the time of the original decision (with a 10,000-word maximum for the rewritten judgment). Commentators will explain the original court decision, how the feminist judgment differs from the original judgment, and what difference the feminist judgment might have made going forward (4,000-word maximum for the commentary). The volume editors conceive of feminism broadly and invite applications that seek to advance, complicate, or critique feminist ideas and advocacy. We are “big tent” and welcome all types of feminism, from liberal feminism to abolitionist feminism. We certainly welcome an intersectional analysis of cases where sex or gender played a role alongside racism, ableism, classism, and other concerns.

Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten criminal law cases should email the volume editors (,, and and put “Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Criminal Law Opinions” in the subject line. In the body of the email, please indicate whether you are interested in writing an opinion or providing a commentary, and specify one or more of the cases from the list below that you would like to rewrite or comment on. You are also free to suggest a case not listed.

Please note that the editors are committed to diversity in all of its forms, and committed to including a diverse group of authors in this volume. If you feel an aspect of your personal identity is important to your participation in this volume, please feel free to include that in your expression of interest.

Applications are due by June 1, 2020. The editors expect to notify accepted authors and commentators no later than July 1, 2020. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on October 1, 2020. First drafts of commentaries will be due on November 1, 2020.

List of cases:

1.     Oliphant v. Suquamish, 435 U.S. 191 (1978) (tribal criminal jurisdiction)

2.     Winnebago v. BigFire, 25 Indian L. Rptr 6229 (1998) (strict scrutiny for gender cases)

3.     Elonis v. United States, 575 U.S. 723 (2015) (threatening communications case)

4.     U.S. v. Nwoye, 824 F.3d 1129 (2016) (domestic violence/duress)

5.     Keeler v. Superior Ct of Amador Cnty, 470 P.2d 617 (Cal. 1970) (killing of fetus)

6.     Whitner v. State, 492 S.E.2d 777 (1977) (criminalizing prenatal activity)

7.     Coker v. Georgia, 433 US. 584 (1977) (death penalty and rape)

8.     McCleskey v. Kemp, 481 U.S. 279 (1987) (death penalty and race)

9.     People v. Berry, 556 P.2d 777 (1976) (provocation)

10.  Girouard v. State, 583 A.2d 718 (Md. 1991) (provocation)

11.  People v. Helen Wu, 286 Cal. Rptr. 868 (1991) (cultural defense)

12.  State v. Norman, 324 N.C. 253 (1989) (self-defense)

13.  State v. Rusk, 424 A.2d 720 (1981) (acquaintance rape)

14.  Massachusetts v. Blache, 880 N.E.2d 736 (Mass. 2008) (rape/intoxication)

15.  McQuirter v. State, 36 Ala. 707 (1953) (rape/race)

16.  State re M.T.S., 609 A.2d 1266 (N.J. 1992) (juveniles/rape)

May 6, 2020 in Criminal Defense, Prosecution, RFP, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

CLEA: Social Justice in Legal Clinics: Tennessee and Memphis Collaboration on Housing and Eviction Justice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cross-posted from CLEA's Social Justice in Legal Clinics series.


In a remarkable partnership from opposite sides of their state, Prof. Wendy Bach’s clinic at the University of Tennessee College of Law (which she teaches with Joy Radice and Sherley Cruz) collaborated with Prof. Katy Ramsey’s clinic at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law to empower attorneys and clients facing eviction procedures during the COVID-19 disaster.

This post from UT explains their innovations in teaching, practice, and partnerships when the pandemic disrupted law schools and heightened vulnerability for renters during the pandemic:

When the threat of COVID-19 led to the cancellation of in-person classes, legal clinic professors at the University of Tennessee College of Law and the University of Memphis School of Law began scrambling to reinvent their curriculum.

Professor Wendy Bach’s legal practice history with eviction defense in New York City had given her firsthand knowledge of how economic crises can lead to homelessness.

“I was looking for something meaningful for our students to take on that was a direct response to this crisis,” Bach said. “Legal services attorneys are facing a wave of eviction-related work. There is a moratorium on eviction proceedings now. But when that’s lifted, the number people dealing with these situations will skyrocket. And the proceedings will move very fast.”

Bach reached out to legal services organizations throughout the state to determine whether students could assist in some way related to eviction law. Her queries led Bach to Professor Katy Ramsey at the University of Memphis who also had eviction law experience.

. . . .

Bach and Ramsey began brainstorming and about how they could collaborate. They realized their clinic classes were scheduled to meet at the same time and that they could bring their students together – via classroom Zoom sessions – to partner and find solutions for Tennessee’s COVID-related eviction issues.

“Tennessee does not have strong tenant protection laws so evictions are always a problem and tenants don’t have lot of recourse,” Ramsey said.

. . . .

The students drafted model pleadings that attorneys can use as templates to request emergency hearings.

. . . .

In partnership with Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, students in the two classes also took on the task of surveying counties and sheriff’s departments throughout the state to learn how they were handling evictions.

County courts have discretion about whether they will accept eviction filings during this time, and sheriffs can interpret how they want to proceed with executing writs that were issued prior to court closures throughout the state.

“The information was important for TALS to have when they receive calls their helpline,” Bach said. “They wanted to be able to accurately answer questions for clients about how to best deal with situations in their home counties.”

The students also gathered information about Tennessee eviction laws in relation to public health emergencies then crafted opinion pieces to share with Tennessee newspapers.

“We looked into what happened during the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, and if what happened then carries over to today, we’re about to have a significant housing crisis,” Tennessee College of Law student Allen Heaston said.

Heaston, who will work in family, civil and criminal law through Neighborhood Defender Services of Harlem after graduation, said learning about housing law through the Legal Clinic was a worthwhile experience.

“It was just a very different area of study for me,” he said. “Just the vast amount of knowledge we were able to absorb in a short period of time has been incredible.”

Bach, Ramsey and Heaston agree there were significant benefits to the collaboration that allowed students to gain new experiences while helping people throughout Tennessee.

“This is definitely a collaboration I hope the College of Law will continue,” Heaston said.

May 5, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)