In the quarter century since its passage, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has left unmistakable evidence of the power of law to change deeply entrenched patterns of discrimination. In the early years the Supreme Court interpreted the statute expansively, lest Title VII of the Act fail in its difficult mission of ensuring equal employment opportunity for all American workers. Recently, though, the jurisprudential climate that fostered the growth of Title VII has changed. This change culminated in a spate of decisions last summer in which the Supreme Court turned on Tide VII and the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

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