The debate over race in this country has of late converged on the contentious issue of affirmative action. Although the Supreme Court once supported the concept of racial affirmative action, in recent years a majority of the Court has consistently opposed various affirmative action programs. The Law of Affirmative Action provides a comprehensive chronicle of the evolution of the Supreme Court's involvement with the racial affirmative action issue over the last quarter century. Starting with the 1974 DeFunis v. Odegaard decision and the 1978 Bakke decision, which marked the beginnings of the Court's entanglement with affirmative action, Girardeau Spann examines every major Supreme Court affirmative action decision, showing how the controversy the Court initially left unresolved in DeFunis has persisted through the Court's 1998-99 term. Including nearly thirty principal cases, covering equal protection, voting rights, Title VII, and education, The Law of Affirmative Action is the only work to treat the Court decisions on racial affirmative action so closely, tracing the votes of each justice who has participated in the decisions. Indispensable for students and scholars, this timely volume elucidates reasons for the 180 degree turn in opinion on an issue so central to the debate on race in America today.