There is a curious duality in the status of civil rights in the United States: massive political support for antidiscrimination legislation but little economic evidence to show how or why it does any good. Initially, there is well nigh unanimous political support for the proposition that the antidiscrimination law as it applies to employment relations and elsewhere is an essential part of the legal firmament. The debates within legal and political circles only go to the question of implementation. The proposed Civil Rights Act of 1990, for example, takes it as a given that civil rights enforcement will and should remain at the top of the American political agenda. It then seeks to tighten the noose around those employers who wish to resist its commands by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in order "to restore and strengthen" the civil rights laws.

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