Positing the hypothesis that the United States Supreme Court makes rather than finds the law, this analysis of race relations cases provides a model by which to examine Court strategies.
While the primary focus of the study is on Brown v. Board of Education, which was central to the “social revolution” started by the Court in its 1954 and 1955 rulings and which continued, perhaps more consciously, thereafter, this is not simply another book about the School Desegregation Cases of 1954 and 1955. Ranging back to 1883, the authors summarize in an early chapter the cases before Brown. Then, after dealing with Brown, the authors proceed topically to explore the Court’s rulings in other areas of race relations in order to provide the larger strategic context within which Brown and its progeny were decided.
In addressing the practical question of Supreme Court behavior in a long line of desegregation cases, the authors look at the entire pattern of the Court’s strategy and behavior, not only the cases the Court decided with full opinions but also its summary actions and its refusals to grant review.
Political scientists, historians, constitutional lawyers, jurists, and interested general readers will find this book essential to an understanding of the evolution of American law in the matter of race relations. It may well provide a model for future studies of Supreme Court strategies in other areas.