JLPP Constitution

Constitution of

TheUniversity of St. Thomas

Journal of Law and Public Policy

A Journal of Conservative Legal Thought and Social Justice



The mission of this Journal is to advance the ideals embodied in the mission statement of The University of St. Thomas School of Law through the exploration of conservative legal thought, public policy and social justice.


The University of St. Thomas School of Law, as a Catholic law school, is dedicated to integrating faith and reason in the search for truth through a focus on morality and social justice.



Section I – Vision Statement

  1. This student-run organization of the University of St. Thomas School of Law shall be known as The University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy (hereinafter Journal). The Journal promotes exceptional conservative thought, student involvement, and strives to produce scholarship of the highest caliber. The Journal will accomplish these goals through activities including, but not limited to the following:
    1. Annual publication of a journal or journals containing conservative scholarship of exceptional quality addressing a wide range of issues pertaining to social justice,
    1. Organization and sponsorship of symposia regarding the same,
    2. Creation of opportunities for St. Thomas Law students to be exposed to and contribute to conservative scholarship of excellent quality,
    3. Any other scholarly activity that serves principally to advance the mission of the journal.


Section I – Organizational Structure

  1. Executive Board. The nine-person executive board is comprised of the following members: editor-in-chief, managing editor, articles editor, comments editor, symposium editor, treasurer, publications director, fundraising director, and secretary. Members of the executive board shall also be referred to as executive editors.
  2. Team Captains Members who have been appointed by the editor-in-chief to lead an editing team. 
  3. Senior Editors Members who have served as an associate editor for one year and are not on the executive board are senior editors.
  4. Associate Editors All members who are not senior editors or on the executive board are associate editors.

Section II – Duties

  1. Editor-in-Chief. The editor-in-chief is the head of the Journal. The editor-in-chiefs responsibilities fall into three categories: executive, managerial, and editorial.
    1. Executive. The editor-in-chief shall be the primary ambassador of the Journal. These duties include maintaining open communication with University administration, board of directors, board of advisors, content contributors, donors, and any other responsibilities necessary for proper standing in the community.
    1. Management. The editor-in-chief oversees the entire journal operation, conducts meetings of the journal, executive board, arbitrates disputes, creates temporary operations board positions as needed, appoints team captains, and monitors the executiveboard. 
    2. Editorial: Concurrent with the executive editors, the editor-in-chief reviews unsolicited submissionsconsistent with Article III §3 of this constitution, recommends and approves submissions for publication, edits every article during the final stages of production, and gives final approval for every article prior to publication.
  1. Managing Editor. The managing editor is the head of journal operations board. The managing editor is responsible for oversight of day-to-day operations of the Journal, distribution of work assignments consistent with Article III §3 of this constitution, completion of work assignments, and all other issues arising in the normal course of the Journal.
  1. Articles Editors. The articles editors are a two person team in charge of reviewing all articles and working with authors and interviewees to ensure that contributors understand the Journal standards and procedures. The articles editors conduct an initial review of the articles assigned to them to ensure that they comply with the page limits set for the relevant volume and issue, and the formatting requirements established by the publications director.  After the initial review, the articles editors work with the team captains assigned to their articles during the editing process to ensure timely publication consistent with Article III §3 of this constitution, and are in charge of all communications with the author.
  2. Notes and Comments Editor. The comments editor supervises the student writing, student submissions, and conducts initial reviews of all student works.  The comments editor conducts an initial review of the articles to ensure that they comply with the page limits set for the relevant volume and issue, and the formatting requirements established by the publications director.  After the initial review, the articles editor works with the team captains during the editing process to ensure timely publication consistent with Article III §3 of this constitution.
  3. Symposium Editor. The symposium editor is responsible for planning and conducting the symposia. He or she will recruit volunteers to assist with the current semesters symposium, and, together with the editor-in-chief, is in charge of preparing for future symposia including recruiting potential speakers and contributors and advertising for the symposium. 
  4. Treasurer. The treasurer shall keep track of all financial data including expenditures, revenues, auditing functions, revenue projections, and any other fiscal concerns. To this end the treasure will be primarily responsible for sending invoices to current subscribers and handling all subscription monies.  The treasurer will work closely with the publications director in handling subscription payments and invoices, the fundraising director in handling all fundraising revenue, and the symposium editor in handling current, and preparing for future, symposium expenses. 
  5. Fundraising Chair. The fundraising chair is charged with soliciting donations, applying for foundation grants, and implementing other fundraising opportunities. Works with the treasurer and editor-in-chief to establish fundraising goals. 
  6. Publications Director. The publications director establishes formatting standards consistent with prior issues of JLPP, sets the schedule for printing deadlines, works with printing companies, ensures the Journal is published on time, and oversees all subscriptions to the JLPP. Works with the treasurer to ensure timely payment from subscribers and timely payment to printing companies. 
  7. Recruitment Director. The recruitment director organizes Journal recruitment and oversees development of the recruitment process. Works with the election committee described in Article IV §1(A)(4) of this constitution
  8. Secretary. The secretary will maintain the Journal website, keep records from operations board meetings, board of advisors meetings, board of directors meetings, and maintain Journal communications.
  9. Team Captains.  Team captains are appointed by the editor-in-chief upon the advice of the executive board.  Team captains act with the authority given to them in Article VII §1(A)(1) of this constitution.  

1.   Team captains receive assignments from the managing editor and are in charge of the above and below the line edits for the articles assigned to them. 

2. Team captains will regularly report to the articles editor assigned to their article and are to submit the edited article to their articles editor when editing is completed.

3. Team captains are to report disciplinary issues to the managing editor consistent with Article VII § 1(A)(1) of this constitution

4. Team Captains will follow the editing process outlines at Article III § 3 of this constitution.

  1. Senior Editors. Senior editors have the same responsibilities of associate editors, but will actively serve as mentors to associate editors.
  2. All Journal Members. All members of the Journal are accountable to their supervisors in carrying out the tasks necessary to Journal operations, and be devoted to advancing the mission of the journal and of the school.




Section I – Content

The content of the Journal will be in the form of articles, interviews, translations, and any other type of written work that meets the selection criteria and furthers the mission of the journal.

Section II – Selection of Content.

  1. The content of the journal shall reflect the mission of the journal. Content shall be determined by the executive board subject to the following criteria:
    1. Submissions shall be compatible with the stated mission of the journal,
    1. Submissions shall be of the highest academic caliber,
    2. Submissions shall serve to further scholarly engagement and conservative scholarship in the areas of public policy and social justice, and
    3. The publication of student work is to be strongly encouraged and developed, however not at the expense of academic rigor and the goals of the journal.

Section III – Editing of Content.

A.  The articles and notes (if any) are to be editing according to the following procedure.  The editor-in-chief, managing editor, or the executive board may adopt additional procedures as necessary. 

1.   Once an article is selected for publication the managing editor is to make a hard copy of the article and hve two separate electronic copies of the article one of which is uploaded to TWEN.  The managing editor will then assign the articles to an articles editor.

2. Upon receiving the article the articles editor is to conduct an initial review of the article to ensure that the article complies with the page limits for that volume and issue, and all appropriate formatting standards established by the publications director, such as, times new roman font, double spaced, and one inch margins. 

3. After their initial review the articles editors will submit the articles to the managing editor.

4. After receiving the articles back from the articles editors, the managing editor will assign the articles to an editing team led by a team captain. 

5. The editing teams will conduct a complete edit of the article using track changes including above and below the line edits.

6. Once all edits have been completed the team captains will submit the article to their assigned articles editor. 

7. The articles editors will review the edits in their assigned articles to ensure that their articles are ready for publication.  They will accept or reject all formatting edits and send all substantial edits to the author for the author to accept or reject. 

8. Once the articles editors receive an article back from the author, the articles editor assigned to that article will check review the article to ensure it is ready for publication.  If it is ready for publication it is submitted to the managing editor for “hell week” review. If it is not publication ready, it is re-submitted to the appropriate editing team for review and the process indicated in 5–7 is repeated as necessary. 

9. Once the managing editor receives the articles back from the articles editors the executive editors conduct an oral review of the submitted articles to ensure that they are ready for publication.  If they are, the articles are sent to the publications director, if they are not, the executive board can take steps necessary to ensure the article becomes ready for publication including re-submitting the article to an editing team. 

10. Once the publications director receives the articles he or she will run the appropriate macros and send the articles to the publisher.

11.  Once the JLPP receives the proofs from the publisher the publications director and editor-in-chief review the proofs to check for errors.  All errors are corrected and the proofs are sent back to the publisher for final publication. 



Section I - Elections

  1. Election Committee
    1. The election committee shall consist of three associate editors and three senior editors appointed by the editor-in-chief.
    1. The editor-in-chief shall appoint the election committee members no sooner than January of the year in which elections shall be held.
    2. The editor-in-chief shall preside over the election committee.
    3. The election committee shall organize the election.
    1. The election committee shall decide the date of the election consistent with §1(B)(4) of this Article, and shall determine the deadline for submission of the candidate materials mentioned in §1(b)(2) of this Article. 
    1. The election committee shall collect all candidate materials, organize them, and distribute them to the JLPP member prior to the election. 
    2. The election committee shall be in charge of counting all votes. 
  1. Election of Officers
    1. All Journal members who will be active in the Journal the following school year and are in good academic standing, as defined by law school policy, are eligible to run for an office.
    2. Members choosing to run for office shall provide a resume and one page personal statement which shall be distributed by the election committee to the Journal members.  The statement must indicate which offices the member would accept.
    3. Candidates may address, in an open meeting on the day of voting, the Journal members to present their qualifications and field questions from the members.
    4. Elections will take place after February and at least two weeks prior to finals.
    5. The meeting for presentations and voting will be communicated to the members of the Journal at least three weeks prior to the election.
    6. The elected positions shall be filled in same order of Article II, Section II. In each case, the positions shall be voted on separately and may only be won by a majority of votes cast. In the event no one is elected, the top two vote recipients shall participate in a second round of voting. In the event of a tie, the editor-in-chief shall have an extra vote to break the tie. The newly elected Journal officers will not take up their positions until the voting process for all offices being affected that day have been filled and voting has concluded.
    7. Quorum is established when two-thirds of the membership eligible to vote is present. A quorum is must be present for the vote of each position.
    8. The election committee will interpret these guidelines and enact any provisions necessary to fulfill the election process.

C. Candidates Running Unchallenged

If there is only one person running for an elected position, then during the election for that position the election committee shall ask the JLPP electorate if any additional person wants to run for that position.  If the candidate is still unchallenged he or she wins the position without a vote.

D. Individual Office Vacancies

    1. If the office of the editor-in-chief becomes vacant, the managing editor becomes the editor-in-chief and the position of managing editor will be up for election.
    2. Other than the position of editor-in-chief, if a position needs to be filled, the editor-in-chief will convene a three person election committee who will accept nominations and applications from interested journal members, distribute applicable resumes and personal statements, and announce the date of the election. The committee shall give two weeks notice of the election meeting.
    3. The guidelines of subsection B will be followed, except for part 1, 4, and 5.


Section I – Annual Selection of New Members.

  1. New members will be selected according to an impartial process to be determined by the executive board subject to the stipulations and criteria in subsection B. In determining this process, the executive board will utilize recommendations from the recruitment director; however the executive board has absolute discretion in determining this process.
  2. The criteria for selection as journal editors are as follows:
    1. Demonstrated commitment to the mission of the journal,
    1. Applicants should be of the highest academic quality,
    2. Applicants should not be subject to any sort of academic probation or other school disciplinary proceeding,
    3. Applicants must commit to a minimum number of hours to the journal, as determined by the editorial board, and
    4. As the quality of the editors reflects upon the journal, applicants should have personal and professional lives that are above reproach

Section II – Other new members.

If the Journal publishes a student article written by a St. Thomas student, the student may apply to become a member of the Journal. If at least three editorial board members agree that the person should be given consideration, at the next Journal meeting with a Quorum, a vote shall be taken by the Journal membership. A majority of affirmative votes are required to approve issuing an invitation to join the journal. The same criteria used for evaluating a new member under art. V, sect. 1 shall apply.


Section I – Voluntary Suspension of Membership.


A.  Members may terminate their membership at any time by submitting notice in writing to the editor-in-chief. Members wishing to terminate their membership must give a minimum two weeks notice.

B.  After one year of active Journal participation, a member may suspend their membership for up to one year.  A member suspending their membership will be denied the title of “Senior Editor” until the member has completed a second year of active membership.



Section I – Discipline Procedure.


A.  Strikes. The managing editor may issue a strike to any Journal member who fails to fulfill his or her obligations to the Journal.  A strike may be issued for offenses such as missing deadlines, inaccurate work, missing meetings, or any other act detrimental to the operations and well being of the Journal.

1.   Team Captains. Team Captains have the authority to establish teams standards within their team.  These standards should clarify to the team members what is expected of them, the deadlines under which they are working, and how the Team Captain will handle disciplinary problems. Team Captains may adopt their own discipline procedures for their respective editing teams. These discipline procedures are binding on the team members so long as they are consistent with Article VII § 1(A) or the current discipline protocol described in § 1(D). A team captain may request that the managing editor or editor-in-chief issue a strike to a team member for violations of team discipline procedures. 

a. Team Captains will report the offenses mentioned in Article VII § 1(A) supra: (“missing deadlines, inaccurate work, missing meetings, or any other act detrimental to the operations and well being of the Journal”) to the Managing Editor using his or her own discretion.

b. Team Captains will be issued a strike for demonstrations of bias in reporting issues to the managing editor.  If a team member suspects that another team member is being given preferential treatment, that member should inform the managing editor.

B.  Appealing Strikes. A member may appeal a strike to the editor-in-chief.  The appeal will be judged on an abuse of discretion standard.  The decision of the editor-in-chief is final.

C.  Three Strikes. A member who accumulates three strikes shall be removed from membership by a simple majority vote of the articles editor, comments editor, and symposium editor. If the member is not dismissed and accumulates a fourth strike, the member shall be removed from membership.

D. Discipline Protocol.  The editor-in-chief and managing editor may adopt discipline protocols consistent with Article VII § 1(A) of this constitution. The effect of the protocol is binding until it is revoked or replaced with a new protocol by the editor-in-chief and managing editor. 


Section II – Plagiarism.


A.  All alleged incidents of plagiarism shall be immediately reported to the editor-in-chief.

B. The editor-in-chief shall initiate an investigation of the allegation, and if necessary notify the faculty advisor, and follow the procedure prescribed by the law school’s relevant academic misconduct code.


Section III – Actions Against the Editor-in-Chief.


A.  The editor-in-chief may be disciplined or removed from the law review membership for any of the following reasons: severe breach of duty to the law review or misuse of funds.

B. An accusation of the editor-in-chief shall be in written form and signed by two-thirds of the Journal membership.  This petition shall be presented to the Managing Editor.

C.  The Managing Editor will convene and preside over a hearing. 

D.  All members of the executive board must be present and constitute the jury. 

E.  The Managing Editor shall appoint a Journal member to be a Prosecutor.

F.  The Prosecutor will present to the jury the accusation and any facts relevant to the hearing.  The editor-in-chief may then rebut the accusation and present facts.  A two-thirds majority of the jury is required to find the editor-in-chief guilty.  The jury will then, by a simple majority vote, determine an appropriate punishment.

G.  The determination of the jury shall be final.


Section I – Amendments to the Constitution

  1. Any executive board member or senior editor may propose amendments to this Constitution. Proposals shall be in writing and be accompanied by a written explanation of the proposed amendment.
  2. At the next executive board meeting the executive board members will vote for submitting the amendment(s) to the membership by obtaining four affirmative votes.
  3. The editor-in-chief will then give notice to the membership by distributing to the membership copies of the amendment(s) and the accompanying explanation.  At the next membership meeting with a quorum at least one week after notice is given the membership shall vote on the amendment.  If two-thirds vote is in the affirmative the amendment will be approved.