The University of Colorado Law Review was founded in 1928 as the Rocky Mountain Law Review, the first quarterly law journal in the Rocky Mountain Region. Since then, it has remained an important contributor to the legal literature of the American West and the entire United States. The Law Review’s original editors began the journal with “the hope that it may be a pleasure to its readers, bring them into more constant and intimate contact with the trend of legal thought in this section of the country, and perhaps from time to time contribute to a solution of the problems confronting the bar.”
In 1962, the journal changed its name to the University of Colorado Law Review to clarify its affiliation with the University of Colorado Law School, because its nationwide audience was confused about its location. Readers were particularly confused “east of the Mississippi,” noted one contemporary editor, “where the Rocky Mountains are generally considered to be in Nevada.”
Over the past 100 years, the University of Colorado Law Review has published works by preeminent scholars and jurists, such as:
- On Muteness, Confidence, and Collegiality by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 61 U. Colo. L. Rev. 715 (1990), a response to Professor Robert Nagel’s Political Pressure and Judging in Constitutional Cases, 61 U. Colo. L. Rev. 685 (1990);
- Stare Decisis and Due Process by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, 74 U. Colo. L. Rev. 1011 (2003);
- Do Liberals and Conservatives Differ in Judicial Activism by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, 73 U. Colo. L. Rev. 1401 (2002);
- Optimizing Water Use: The Return Flow Issue, by D.C. Circuit Judge Stephen F. Williams, 44 U. Colo. L. Rev. 301 (1973);
- The Property Clause and New Federalism by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Judge Allison H. Eid, 75 U. Colo. L. Rev. 1241 (2004);
- From Access to Success: Affirmative Action Outcomes in a Class-Based System by Colorado Supreme Court Justice Melissa Hart and Matthew N. Gaertner, 86 U. Colo. L. Rev. 431 (2015),
- The Central Meaning of a Republican Government: Popular Sovereignty, Majority Rule, and the Denominator Problem by constitutional law scholar Akhil Reed Amar, 65 U. Colo. L. Rev. 749 (1994);
- Cases under the Guarantee Clause Should Be Justiciable by Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, 65 U. Colo. L. Rev. 849 (1994); and
- Property Rights in Water, Spectrum, and Minerals Speech by Professor Richard Epstein, 86 U. Colo. L. Rev. 389 (2015).
The Law Review staff also boasts countless members who have gone on to remarkable careers as public servants, such as Chief Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Chief Judge Fred M. Winner of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Colorado Supreme Court Justice James K. Groves., and J. Harley Murray, a member of Justice Robert H. Jackson’s prosecution staff at the Nuremberg Trials.
Throughout its history, the University of Colorado Law Review has not shied away from controversial topics. Instead, it has sought out works that challenge the status quo and raise impactful and uncomfortable questions. Just a few of these works include:
- Home-Grown Racism: Colorado’s Historic Embrace—And Denial—of Equal Opportunity in Higher Education by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, 70 U. Colo. L. Rev. 703 (1999);
- Not Yet America’s Best Idea: Law, Inequality, and Grand Canyon National Park by Sarah Krakoff, 91 U. Colo. L. Rev. 559 (2020);
- Climate Change Disinformation, Citizen Competence, and the First Amendment by James Weinstein, 89 U. Colo. L. Rev. 341 (2018); and
- Creating Masculine Identities: Bullying and Harassment “Because of Sex” by Ann C. McGinley, 79 U. Colo. L. Rev. (2008).
Recognizing that law journals across the nation, including the University of Colorado Law Review, are predominately white institutions that have played an integral role in maintaining racial inequities in the legal profession, the Law Review has recently undertaken efforts to become more inclusive. The Law Review is making concrete changes to its member-recruiting process, its article-selection process, and its collaboration with non-law-review members to produce essential legal scholarship. As a result, it will continue to publish provocative articles that challenge structural inequalities. These efforts will be the first step in making the University of Colorado Law Review a more equitable institution.
As the University of Colorado Law Review approaches its one-hundred-year anniversary, it still serves as one of the premier outlets for thoughtful and challenging legal scholarship in the Rocky Mountain Region and the entire nation. Its leadership strives to ensure that each issue meets the worthy goals of the Law Review’s original editors: bringing pleasure to readers, bringing those readers into more constant and intimate contact with trends in legal thought, and contributing solutions to the problems confronting the legal profession.