The Journal of Law in Society

The Journal of Law in Society is a student-managed publication of Wayne State University Law School that provides scholarly discourse on the intersection of law and society.

Articles from Vol. 18, No. 1, Spring

American Law, Slaves, and Freedmen 1619-1860
Laws empower governments. They control behavior, shape attitudes and codify important societal values. As predominant means for promoting change or preserving the status quo, laws also reflect a people's fundamental ideals, including their racial beliefs....
From Statehood to Reconstruction: No Longer Slaves, Not Yet Citizens
A. The Legal Status of Blacks from Statehood to the Civil War The end of slavery in Michigan was made official with statehood. Michigan's first constitution, adopted in 1835, provided that: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever be...
Slaves, Laws, and Courts in Early Detroit and Michigan 1701-1835
A. Slavery and the Law in Michigan In early Michigan, Africans and Native Americans (1) were enslaved in the Detroit settlement, (1) which at the time spanned both sides of the Detroit River. (2) On a smaller scale, slavery also was practiced in...
The Michigan Supreme Court and Black Rights 1850-1870
The Supreme Court of the State succeeded the Territorial Court through legislation enacted March 26, 1836. (1) Originally comprised of the three circuit court judges, in 1838, the court became a four-member bench, consisting of a chief justice and...
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