Law: Much Ado About a Shift to the Right

The court favors seniority over minority, police over defendants

For years, liberals and conservatives alike have wondered when the Nixon-Ford-Reagan majority on the U.S. Supreme Court would show its true colors and break with the bold precedents of the tribunal overseen by Earl Warren. For a few days last week it seemed that the time had finally arrived. Prosecutors and police were delighted when the court set new limits on two of the Warren Court's best-known criminal-law doctrines. And Reagan Administration officials could hardly contain their glee after the court ordered a cutback in the scope of some affirmative-action remedies. "It's a...

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