Which Actions Are Legal?

It seemed easy in theory: getting a majority of Supreme Court Justices to sign a single opinion clarifying the rules for combatting discrimination. But from 1979 until the Johnson decision last week, that goal eluded a deeply divided high court, which had stitched together majorities through a patchwork quilt of separate opinions that raised as many questions as they answered. Which forms of affirmative action are legal? When are they mandatory? Are quotas ever permissible? Required? Even though the Supreme Court will continue to refine the boundaries of affirmative action through a case-by-case approach, the Johnson decision has helped clear up...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!