Hugh Theut Appointed Incoming Editor-in-Chief of Michigan State Law Review


As the 2021-22 academic year draws to a close, the passing of the torch is happening among many student organizations and leadership groups at the College of Law.

Michigan State Law Review, the law school’s flagship journal, begins the process each spring by hosting elections to determine a new executive board for the coming year. The result of the recent vote appointed rising 3L Hugh Theut, ’23, as the new Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of Law Review.

“Getting on Law Review is such a big accomplishment to me,” Theut explained, “and then to go through the elections process and make it to EIC, I think it’s very humbling.”

Theut joined Law Review with the goal of adding strong legal writing skills to his learned ability for advocacy. He studied political science at the University of Iowa, where he also minored in rhetoric and persuasion. His minor allowed Theut the opportunity to engage in public speaking and serve as an advocate, ultimately motivating him to pursue a law degree. He comes from a family of practicing attorneys, so the idea was always on the table, but Theut explained that “by the time I got to undergrad, I found a niche for (the law) and enjoyed it.”

Originally from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a citizen of the Mackinac Bands of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians, Theut returned to his home state after receiving his bachelor’s degree. He chose to continue his education at MSU Law, “I thought it was a great law school coming in, and now I feel as though I made the right decision,” he said. Continuing, Theut said, “The school has provided me with every opportunity to succeed, including a summer associate position with Kerr Russell I landed through the school’s on campus interview process.”

Outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Brandon Cross, ’22, has supported Theut during the leadership transition. “He’s been super helpful, bringing me up to speed,” Theut said. “His advice was to work closely with Professor David Blankfein-Tabachnick, stay on the ball, and don’t get behind. Be ready for anything.”

Professor Blankfein-Tabachnick serves as Michigan State Law Review’s faculty advisor, and he celebrated Theut’s appointment: “Becoming Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan State Law Review is among the highest honors a student at our Law College might achieve. Hugh is an extraordinarily bright and tremendously capable person. As a student, he has been an absolute star.”

“Hugh will continue the excellence that has been the journal’s marquee, building on the superb work of previous EIC’s. Most recently, Brandon Cross, whose tireless and outstanding work and commitment to the journal has been just astonishing,” he added. “We all owe Bran and his team a huge thank you and look forward to working with Hugh and his incoming team as they take on the leadership of one of Michigan State University’s many crown jewels.”    

As Theut prepares to take on more responsibility in his new role with Law Review, he is excited for what the year ahead will bring.

“I look forward to working with Professor Blankfein-Tabachnick. I think he’s phenomenal. I had him for Tax last semester, and he was great,” Theut said. “I also talked to the previous Editor-in-Chief before Bran, Kylee Nemetz, and she had a lot of great things to say about the position. … I just feel incredibly lucky.”

Michigan State Law Review Symposium on Wenona Singel’s “Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability”

Michigan State Law Review has published several articles from its symposium on Wenona Singel’s paper “Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability.”

Tribal Rights, Human Rights

Kristen A. Carpenter & Angela R. Riley

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 293 | Download PDF

Nenabozho’s Smart Berries: Rethinking Tribal Sovereignty and Accountability

Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 339 | Download PDF

Jurisdiction and Human Rights Accountability in Indian Country

Kirsten Matoy Carlson

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 355 | Download PDF

First “Review” of Scholarly Promise and Achievement

Frank Pommersheim

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 291 | Download PDF

Tribal Sovereignty and Human Rights

Joseph William Singer

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 307 | Download PDF

A Most Grievous Display of Behavior: Self-Decimation in Indian Country

David E. Wilkins

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 325 | Download PDF

Healing to Wellness Courts: Therapeutic Justice

Joseph Thomas Flies-Away & Carrie E. Garrow

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 403 | Download PDF


Wenona Singel: “Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability”

Our own Wenona T. Singel has posted her paper, “Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability,” on SSRN. The San Diego Law Review recently published it.

Here is the abstract:

In Indian country, the expansion of self-governance, the growth of the gaming industry, and the increasing interdependence of Indian and non-Indian communities have intensified concern about the possible abuse of power by tribal governments. As tribes gain greater political and economic clout on the world stage, expectations have risen regarding the need for greater government accountability in Indian country. Despite these expectations, Indian tribes are largely immune from external accountability with respect to human rights. In fact, tribes have effectively slipped into a gap in the global system of human rights responsibility. The gap exists in the sense that tribal governments are not externally accountable in any broad sense for abuses of human rights that they commit. The failure of the legal system to provide for tribal accountability for human rights produces serious harms for Indian tribes and their polities. In this Article, I argue that the conventional understanding of tribal sovereignty must be reformed to reflect the transformative international law principle that all sovereigns are externally accountable for human rights violations. I then offer a proposal based on tribal accountability and respect for tribal sovereignty. I propose that tribes develop an intertribal human rights regime that includes the formation of an intertribal treaty recognizing tribal human rights obligations and establishing an intertribal institution with the capacity to enforce human rights violations. An intertribal human rights regime offers the best possible method for providing external accountability for tribal abuses of human rights. It allows tribes to address human rights violations without relying upon solutions supplied or imposed by the federal government. It also allows tribes to articulate and interpret universal human rights in light of their cultural, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social perspectives, and it allows them to develop effective and culturally appropriate institutional enforcement mechanisms.

You may recall that Michigan State Law Review hosted a symposium on Wenona’s paper. We will post those papers as soon as they’re published.

Michigan State Law Review CFP

The Michigan State University Law Review is holding a symposium, “Gender and the Legal Profession’s Pipeline to Power,” April 12-13, 2012.  The symposium will serve as a catalyst to raise awareness about, discuss the dynamics of, and strategize solutions to the persistent gender disparity that exists in positions of power in the legal profession.  Scholars and experts from the fields of law, political science, journalism, and beyond will reframe and advance the course of existing dialogue on gender equality.

We are pleased to announce that the symposium will be taking place in Detroit, Michigan, at the historic Westin Book Cadillac Hotel.  MSU College of Law has its roots in this city; as Detroit College of Law it was one of the first institutions of higher education to open its doors to women and minorities, admitting Lizzie McSweeney into its inaugural class of students in 1891.  Thus it is incredibly fitting that this symposium takes place in the very city where our school was founded, remembering our legacy while also looking to the future.

Just as MSU College of Law was among the first to offer women equal access to a legal education over 50 years before many other institutions began to do so, we now seek to continue this tradition by advancing the conversation on how to resolve remaining gender disparity.

Confirmed participants to date include:

Hannah Brenner (Michigan State), Douglas Branson (Pittsburg), Keith Bybee (Syracuse University), Bridget Crawford (Pace), Christine Corcos (Louisiana State), Lee Epstein (Southern California), Erika Falk (Johns Hopkins), Judge Nancy Gertner (Harvard), Carol Greenhouse (Princeton), Linda Greenhouse (Yale), Joan Howarth (Michigan State), Sally Kenney (Tulane), Renee Newman Knake (Michigan State), Paula Monopoli (Maryland), Carla  Pratt (Penn State), Deborah Rhode (Stanford), Lori Ringhand (Georgia), Julie Suk (Cardozo), and Angela Onwuachi Willig (Iowa).

This announcement invites proposals from individuals across disciplines who are interested in contributing to this conversation by speaking on a panel at the symposium.  We especially encourage proposals from junior scholars and new voices focusing their work on the issues that will be explored through this event.  Submissions must include a title and abstract of no more than 1,000 words, due by November 15, 2011.  Please include your full contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address.  Participants will be notified about their acceptance by December 2011.  Some participants may have the opportunity to publish their paper as part of a special symposium issue of the MSU Law Review (please indicate if you are interested in having your paper considered for this purpose in your submission).

For questions or to submit a proposal, please contact:

Hannah Brenner, Lecturer in Law & Co-Director, Kelley Institute of Ethics and the Legal Profession at or

Renee Newman Knake, Associate Professor of Law & Co-Director, Kelley Institute of Ethics and the Legal Profession at

If submitting a proposal, please include in the subject line MSU Call for Papers.

For more information about the event, please visit


MSU Law Review Symposium Published — Labor and Employment Laws in Indian Country

Here is the listing of articles[once the pdfs are available, we’ll update the posting]:

De Facto Judicial Preemption of Tribal Labor and Employment Law
Ezekiel J.N. Fletcher

The Tuscarorganization of the Tribal Workforce
Vicki J. Limas

Tribal Self-Determination and Judical Restraint: The Problem of Labor and Employment Relations within the Reservation
Kaighn Smith Jr.

The Institutional Economics of Tribal Labor Relations
Wenona T. Singel

How the Ninth Circuit Overruled a Century of Supreme Court Indian Jurisprudence–And Has So Far Gotten Away with It
Bryan H. Wildenthal

Erwin Chemerinsky on Michigan’s Prop 2

Erwin Chemerinsky’s talk about direct democracy and Prop 2 (with the Orwellian name “Civil Rights Initiative”) has been published in our own Michigan State Law Review. The talk is called “Challenging Direct Democracy.”

Here’s the introduction:

The Civil Rights Initiative in Michigan was adopted the day before this symposium on direct democracy was held at Michigan State University College of Law.

Let there be no doubt of its effects: it’s going to be a devastating event for individuals of color throughout Michigan. I can back this up by the experience of California, after a similar initiative, also championed by Ward Connerly, was passed there in 1996. Statistics are available about the effect on admissions at the University of California Law Schools in the five years immediately after the passage of what was called their Proposition 209. The percentage of minority students at state law schools, like UCLA and Boalt, is a fraction of what it was at comparable private schools like Stanford and U.S.C. The same effects have been seen in government contracting and employment.

Continue reading

Wildenthal on Donovan v. Coeur d’Alene Tribal Farm — MSU Law Review

Bryan Wildenthal has posted “How a Ninth Circuit Panel Opinion Overruled a Century of Supreme Court Indian Law Jurisprudence — And Has So Far Gotten Away With It” on SSRN. This paper is part of the Michigan State Law Review’s symposium on federal labor law and tribal sovereignty.

Here’s the abstract:

Continue reading

AALS Annual Meeting in Manhattan — Indian Law Related Panels

The 2008 AALS Annual Meeting starts today. Here is the speaker listing for the two (mainly) Indian Law panels. Both are Saturday afternoon:

Continue reading

Michigan State Law Review Call for Papers

Dear Colleagues,

The editors of the Michigan State Law Review have asked that I forward to you the following call for papers:

The Michigan State Law Review is requesting submissions for its spring symposium issue on the topic of Labor and Employment Laws in Indian Country, in conjunction with the Section on Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples program during the American Association of Law Schools’ Annual Meeting in New York City on January 5, 2008. The Law Review is requesting submissions from both the Indian Nations/tribal law perspective, and from employers’ perspectives. We welcome papers on the effects of state and federal labor regulations on tribal employers and employees, as well as papers on other topics relating to the interplay of labor and employment law and Indian Nations. The issue is scheduled to be published in May 2008. We ask that you submit your papers by February 15, 2008. We invite any conference participants or invitees to submit papers, but we welcome papers from those unable to attend the conference as well. Please email your manuscripts or any questions to Emma Haas, Michigan State Law Review Senior Articles Editor, at Thank you for your interest.


Wenona Singel