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Schlanger, Margo

Wade H. and Dores M. McCree Collegiate Professor of Law

910 Legal Research

Margo Schlanger, the Wade H. and Dores M. McCree Collegiate Professor of Law, is a leading authority on civil rights issues and civil and criminal detention. She joined the Law School faculty in fall 2009; she teaches constitutional law, torts, and classes relating to civil rights and to jails and prisons. She also founded and runs the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse. Previously, she had been a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, and an assistant professor at Harvard University. 

Professor Schlanger is the author of dozens of law review and other scholarly articles, and is a frequent commentator online and in print on civil rights topics. She is the lead author of a leading casebook, Incarceration and the Law (2020), (You can find Schlanger's full CV and all of her publications at her homepage.)

In addition to her research and writing, Professor Schlanger does substantial work in civil rights litigation and prison and immigration reform. She has been appointed class counsel in Hamama v. Adducci, a national class action to ensure due process for Iraqi nationals whom the Trump Administration seeks to deport. She is the court-appointed monitor for a statewide settlement dealing with deaf prisoners in Kentucky. And she serves as an expert in numerous cases addressing detention conditions. She took a two-year leave from the University in 2010 and 2011, serving as the presidentially appointed Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As the head of civil rights and civil liberties for DHS, she was the Secretary's lead advisor on civil rights and civil liberties issues; in that capacity, she testified before Congress; chaired the Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee of the federal Information Sharing Environment's Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee; chaired the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities; served on the first U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Universal Periodic Review; and met with community leaders and groups across America to ensure that their perspectives regarding civil rights and homeland security were considered in the Department's policy process. Later in the Obama Administration, she assisted in the development of DHS policies relating to reducing sexual abuse and the use of solitary confinement in immigration detention. She also served on the Department of Homeland Security's Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers, which recommended abolishing family detention. 

Professor Schlanger earned her J.D. from Yale in 1993. While there, she served as book reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal and received the Vinson Prize. She then served as law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1993 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, she was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where she worked to remedy civil rights abuses by prison and police departments and earned two Division Special Achievement awards. Schlanger, served on the Vera Institute's blue ribbon Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons; she worked as an advisor on the development of proposed national standards implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act, and testified before the Prison Rape Elimination Commission. She also served as the reporter for the American Bar Association's revision of its Standards on the Treatment of Prisoners, and as chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law and the Social Sciences. 

Visit Professor Schlanger's homepage for more information. 

Recent Publications

More Publications...

Schlanger, Margo, Brenda Feigen, John G. Roberts, Daphna Renan, Deborah J. Merritt, Harry T. Edwards, Paul J. Watford. "Memoriam: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg." Harvard Law Review 134, no. 882 (2021).
Full Text: WWW

"Incrementalist vs. Maximalist Reform: Solitary Confinement Case Studies." Nw. U. L. Rev. 115, no. 1 (2020): 273-309.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN

"Accommodating Disabilities." In Public Health Behind Bars — From Prisons to Communities. Forthcoming.

"Mapping the Iceberg: The Impact of Data Sources on the Study of District Courts." Christina L. Boyd and Pauline T. Kim, co-authors. J. Empirical Legal Stud. 17, no. 3 (2020): 466-92.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | WWW

Incarceration and the Law, Cases and Materials. 10th ed. Sheila Bedi, David M. Shapiro, and Lynn S. Branham, co-authors. American Casebook Series West Academic Publishing, 2020.

"The Constitutional Law of Incarceration, Reconfigured." Cornell L. Rev. 103, no. 2 (2018): 357-436.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | SSRN

"Prisoners with Disabilities." In Reforming Criminal Justice: Punishment, Incarceration, and Release, edited by E. Luna, 4, 295-323. Phoenix, Ariz.: Academy for Justice, 2017.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN

"The Just-Barely-Sustainable California Prisoners' Rights Ecosystem." Annals Am. Acad. Pol. & Soc. Sci. 664 (2016): 62-81.
Full Text: Lexis | Sage (UMich users) | Sage | SSRN

"Intelligence Legalism and the NSA's Civil Liberties Gap." Law Quad. Notes 59, no. 2 (2016): 24-5. (Adaptation of article originally published under the same title in Harv. Nat'l Security J. 6 (2015): 112-205.

"How the ADA Regulates and Restricts Solitary Confinement for People with Mental Disabilities." Am. Const. Soc'y Issue Brief (2016): 1-18.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN

"Anti-Incarcerative Remedies for Illegal Conditions of Confinement." U. Miami Race & Soc. Just. L. Rev. 6 (2016): 1-30.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | SSRN


Organizer, Prison and the Law Scholarship Roundtable, March 2017.

Presented "The Supreme Court and Prisoner Treatment Standards," Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, February 2017.

Presented "The Courts and Prisons," 9th Circuit Mid-winter Judge's Conference, January 2017.

Presented "Scienter and the Eighth Amendment," Vanderbilt Law faculty workshop, January 2017.

Presented "Teaching Civil Rights: The Constitution on the Ground," a daylong workshop for high school teachers, October 2016.

Presented "Security and Privacy in an Age of Terrorism," U-M cybersecurity conference, October 2016.

Presented "Prison Litigation Reform Act 101," Prisoners' Advocates conference, September 2016.

Presented "Decarceration and Disability," Prisoners' Advocates conference, September 2016.

Presented "Landmark Cases in Prisoner Civil Rights," U-M forensic psychiatry fellows seminar, August 2016.