Bluebook Revises Rule for Citing Cases Involving Enslaved Persons

In response to concerns raised by the Citing Slavery Project, the Bluebook has made a rare between-edition change to rule 10.7.1 on citation to cases.  This change is reflected in the 2021 printing of The Bluebook Twenty-First Edition was first published in 2020.

According to the Bluebook’s Noteworthy Changes to the 2021 Printing:

Rule 10.7.1(d) now covers slave cases. For cases involving an enslaved person as a party, use the parenthetical “(enslaved party).” For cases involving an enslaved person as the subject of a property or other legal dispute but named as a party to the suit, use the parenthetical “(enslaved person at issue).” For other cases involving enslaved persons, use an adequately-descriptive parenthetical.

  • Dred Scott v. Sanford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857) (enslaved party), superseded by constitutional amendmentU.S. Const. amend. XIV.

  • Wall v. Wall, 30 Miss. 91 (1855) (enslaved person at issue).

Hat tip to C|M|Law Library Blog